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
December 13, 2013
Expect Temporary Closures in Amherst
Despite the cold weather, work continues toward reconstruction of the Norwottuck Rail Trail in Northampton, Hadley and Amherst. Path users can expect to encounter rolling closures of the trail from South Maple Street to Station Road in Amherst while crews conduct tree trimming and limited removals to prepare the path for reconstruction work that will gear up again in the spring.
The contractor is also preparing screening and cold weather plan to allow crews to continue work during the winter on the Southeast Street and Fort River bridges and the Route 9 tunnel boardwalk, in an effort to keep the project on track for completion by November 2014.
MassBike has posted potential detour information at https://mapsengine.google.com/map/viewer?mid=zo7mIE2b5EJY.ksqJjCggDt-I
Crews on the Connecticut River Bridge have begun removing and replacing the bridge decking. The bridge is expected to be closed through April.
Current Anticipated Schedule and Closures:
At this time, we expect the following schedule of path closures. All dates are subject to change.
Type of Work
Possible On-Road Alternatives
|Cross Path Rd., Hadley to East St., Hadley||Reopened!|
|Connecticut River Bridge to Cross Path||September 30, 2013 to April, 2014||Bridge re-decking and repairs, path repaving.||Sidewalks, Damon Rd. to Coolidge Bridge to Cross Path.|
|Damon Rd. parking lot||October 2013 through May, 2014||Redesign, expansion and repaving of the lot.||NA|
|East St., Hadley, to|
South Maple St., Hadley
|October 15, 2013 to|
|Repaving and boardwalk||East St. to Rocky Hill Rd. to North Maple St.|
|South Maple St., Hadley, to Rt. 116, Amherst||Beginning around April 1, 2014||Excavation and repaving||Mill Valley Rd. / east Hadley Rd.|
|Rt. 116, Amherst, to|
South East St., Amherst
|June, 2014||Excavation and repaving||Mill Lane|
|South East St., Amherst to Station Rd., Amherst||August, 2014||Excavation and repaving||South East St. to Station Rd.|
|Damon Rd., Northampton parking area||September, 2014||Re-design and repaving||Sidewalks, Damon Rd. to Cross Path.|
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.
Thank you for your patience and support.