For Immediate Release - May 15, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING FOR THE COCHITUATE RAIL TRAIL IN FRAMINGHAM

Trail Investment Made Possible by Transportation Bond Bill, Highlights Bay State Bike Week’s Focus on Healthy Transportation

Cochituate Rail Trail Reconstruction Groundbreaking

Governor Patrick breaks ground on the Cochituate Rail Trail reconstruction project in Framingham. (Photo: Jun Tsuboike / Governor's Office)

FRAMINGHAM – Thursday, May 15, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Highway Administrator Frank DePaola, federal, state and local officials to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Cochituate Rail Trail in Framingham. The 1.4 mile trail along an abandoned railroad right-of-way will extend from School Street to Route 30 at the Natick town line and connect a proposed residential development, the Natick Collection, TJX Corporate headquarters driveways and two MetroWest Regional Transit Authority bus routes.

“By connecting homes with business, retail and transit, the Cochituate Trail will provide a healthy option that boosts economic growth and enhances quality of life," said Governor Patrick.

The $1.06 million project is funded by 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds made available by legislative approval and Governor Patrick’s signing in April of the 2014 Transportation Bond Bill to invest in road, bridge, transit, trail and other critical transportation projects across the Commonwealth.

Today’s groundbreaking for the multi-use trail occurs as Massachusetts celebrates Bay State Bike Week, Saturday, May 10 through Sunday, May 18, a nationally-recognized statewide event to encourage bicycling as a fun, healthy, safe and sustainable travel choice.

“It is fitting that we celebrate this multi-use trail during our extremely successful Bike Week celebration,” said Highway Administrator DePaola. “We are demonstrating once again our commitment to a statewide goal of tripling the share of travel by bicycling, transit and walking.”

Framingham has completed grading and sewer installation along the trail. The final work on the Cochituate Rail Trail includes paving of the trail along with sidewalk construction, curbing, fences, bollards, benches, guard rail, landscaping and at-grade warning beacons. The trail will be ADA accessible. Completion of the project is scheduled for April 2015.

“The Cochituate Rail Trail will connect commuters, shoppers and students to MetroWest businesses and recreation,” said Senator Karen Spilka. “This is another terrific example of our commitment in the legislature to smart, sustainable transportation projects that increase access to the community and encourage people to get outdoors and be active. I am pleased that this trail will provide another transportation option for MetroWest, while attracting more visitors to this beautiful area.”

"The Cochituate Rail Trail is an investment in the quality of life of Framingham residents," said Representative Tom Sannicandro. "The trail will provide healthy transportation alternatives that also benefit our environment. I am proud that the Legislature and the Patrick administration worked together to make this project a reality while ensuring it's cost effective for Massachusetts tax payers."

“Today's transportation options cannot be all about the automobile, sitting in a car in stalled traffic is too huge a waste of both time and resources,” said Representative Chris Walsh. “The residents of the Commonwealth need a diverse and multifaceted set of alternatives to keep our communities moving and viable. These options must include high quality pedestrian and bike ways like this Cochituate rail trail which taken together with the new aqueduct trails will became the basis of a healthier, smarter system for recreation and transportation.”

“Framingham’s vision for transportation orientated development (TOD) has another spoke in its wheel with the addition of the Cochituate Rail Trail currently connecting Framingham neighborhoods to some of our largest employers, many natural resources including the Weston Aqueduct, and the Golden Triangle area,” said Framingham Town Manager Bob Halpin. “Exciting future connections linking the MBTA will only reinforce our ability to provide alternate means of transportation and to reduce vehicle traffic in and around Framingham.”

The Cochituate Rail Trail project reflects MassDOT’s GreenDOT initiative to incorporate sustainability into all activities, from strategic planning to project design and construction to system operation. The initiative includes greenhouse gas reduction targets mandated under the Global Warming Solutions Act, signed by Governor Patrick in 2008. This law requires an economy-wide 2020 emissions reduction mandate of between 10 and 25 percent toward a required 80 percent reduction by 2050. The transportation sector generates more than one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts.

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