For Immediate Release - October 26, 2012

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF THE ALEWIFE GREENWAY BIKE PATH PROJECT

Completed project now links Minuteman and Mystic River Reservations

ARLINGTON – Thursday, October 25, 2012 – Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan and Departmemornt of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Edward M. Lambert today joined local elected officials and residents at the Henderson Bridge on the Arlington/Somerville line to celebrate the completion of the Alewife Greenway Bike Path Project.

“The Alewife Greenway Bike Path Project is one more example of state government working with municipalities to improve public safety and preserve these resources for residents across the state,” said Secretary Sullivan. “Partnerships are vitally important to the future of our parks, beaches, and other natural and recreational resources in the Commonwealth.”

The completed greenway is part of the larger Alewife Brook Reservation, located in the towns of Cambridge, Arlington and Somerville. The project completes a critical pedestrian and bicycle off-road link, which will now link the Minuteman and the Mystic River Reservations, two of metro Boston’s prominent pedestrian and bike corridors.

“Thanks to the combined efforts of Secretary Sullivan and Commissioner Lambert, we take one step closer to realizing our vision of providing healthier, greener, and cleaner modes of transportation,” said Richard A. Davey, MassDOT Secretary and CEO.  “Projects like this stand out as the model for encouraging more people to think about alternative ways of getting around, and demonstrate the demand out there for future projects like this.”

The bike path project included the development of two new accessible public paths compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as ecological restoration of sections of the Alewife Brook, offering visitors a beautiful nature trail to traverse.

“Commuters who travel 30 minutes or more into the Greater Boston area lost over 55 hours to being stuck in traffic last year,” said DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert. “For some folks, foot and bike paths can change that, helping to cut down on lost time and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.”

The project also created pedestrian safety crossings at Massachusetts Avenue and Broadway, allowing for a safe access to the Mystic River, Dilboy Stadium, baseball field, and playground; a DCR pool and agency-managed basketball courts, Minuteman Bike Path and the Alewife T station, which is considered the most highly accessed MBTA station via bicycle in metro Boston.

Previously no safe sidewalks, crossings or paths served these facilities.

“The Alewife Greenway Bike Path Project is another example of the kind of project the Recovery Act was intended to benefit,” said Director of the Massachusetts Recovery Office Jeffrey Simon.  “Forty-nine individuals worked on this project and across Massachusetts nearly 97,000 people have worked on ARRA projects and programs.  This completed path created good jobs for Massachusetts while improving pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion and restoring sections of the ecology of Alewife Brook.”

The project was funded by a $3.6 million grant from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). ARRA was created to save and create jobs almost immediately and to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and investment in infrastructure, education, health programs, and green energy.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Edward M. Lambert Jr., the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at mass.parks@state.ma.us.

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