The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Highway Division are working together to rehabilitate of the oldest sections of the 10.6 mile Norwottuck Rail Trail, which extends from Northampton to Belchertown, MA.  Design funding has been provided through a state and federal partnership between DCR, MassDOT, and the Federal Highway Administration.  Funding for the planned $4 million construction phase will come from federal and state funds set aside by Congressman John Olver in a federal transportation bill and by MassDOT. 

The scope of work for upgrades and safety improvements includes excavating and repaving the existing trail surface, widening up to 10-feet where possible, cutting of the trailside roots, enhancing the road crossings, changing the alignment at the Route 9 tunnel, adding turn-arounds and other universal access improvements, re-decking bridges, enhancing and installing new parking, and upgrading trail signage and other amenities.

Norwottuck Rail Trail Rehabilitation Project Updates

Occasionally during the life of this project, DCR will send out project updates informing the public of upcoming meetings or project milestones. If you would like to receive these updates, please subscribe here.

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Project Update Status

March 1, 2014

Norwottuck Bridge

Winter Work Progresses on the Connecticut River Bridge

Neither cold, nor snow, nor gloom of winter has kept steady progress from happening on DCR’s Connecticut River Bridge rehabilitation.  Over the winter months, DCR’s contractor MAS Bridge and Building, has removed the old decking and railings, replaced railroad ties, and in nearing completion on re-decking the bridge.  They expect to wrap up this phase in March, and then complete repairs to the steel structure and stone piers by the end of April.  DCR hopes to then reconstruct the Damon Road Parking lot by early summer.  

Path Reconstruction to Resume as the Weather Warms

As soon as the weather allows, C&A Construction will ramp up their crews to continue repairs to the path from East Street to South Maple Street in Hadley, including repairs to the Route 9 tunnel and construction of the boardwalk at that location.

MassBike has posted potential detour information at

Current Anticipated Schedule and Closures:

At this time, we expect the following schedule of path closures.  All dates are subject to change.


Expected Closure

Type of Work

Possible On-Road Alternatives

Cross Path Rd., Hadley to East St., HadleyReopened!  
Connecticut River Bridge to Cross PathSeptember 30, 2013 to April, 2014Bridge re-decking and repairs, path repaving.Sidewalks, Damon Rd. to Coolidge Bridge to Cross Path.
Damon Rd. parking lotApril 2014 through May, 2014Redesign, expansion and repaving of the lot.NA

East St., Hadley, to

South Maple St., Hadley

October, 2013 through

May, 2014

Repaving and boardwalkEast St. to Rocky Hill Rd. to North Maple St.
South Maple St., Hadley, to Rt. 116, AmherstBeginning around May, 2014Excavation and repavingMill Valley Rd. / east Hadley Rd.

Rt. 116, Amherst, to

South East St., Amherst

July, 2014Excavation and repavingMill Lane
South East St., Amherst to Station Rd., AmherstSeptember, 2014Excavation and repavingSouth East St. to Station Rd.


More Information?

DCR will continue to post information, updated schedules, and closures on our this project web page.

We will also provide updates via our Norwottuck Reconstruction ListServe.  You can sign up for the ListServ at the link below.

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Thank you for your patience and support.