(3/24/2022) Minuteman Bikeway Annual Town Meeting - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs - click here)
(3/21/2022) The Conservation Commission approved the Notice of Intent filed by the DPW for the project’s environmental impacts at their February 9th monthly meeting. Landscape Plan with rendering for Railroad Avenue parking area and wetland replication plantings (sheet 75 of 182) can be found here. The Arbor Resource Committee continued their review and discussion of the Project at their meeting on February 24th. As described in the tree removal application cover memo, 20 public street trees are being removed, with 68 trees being planted as replacements. 4.34 acres of trees will also be cleared along the existing Reformatory Branch Trail. While the total number of acres sounds extensive, the project is primarily pushing back the forest/brush along the approximate 1.7 miles of former rail corridor in order to access, widen where necessary, and pave the existing cleared trail. Per the Town Tree Policy, $21,700 will be contributed to the Tree Removal Mitigation Revolving Fund.
(1/27/2022) In December, 2021 MassDOT approved the 75% Right-of-way plans for acquisition, which enabled the Town to obtain independent appraisals of all affected property owners. As required by federal law, this state and federally-funded project requires that property owners providing easements or land for this project are compensated at the highest market value price. The funding for these acquisitions are paid for by the Town, and will go before residents at the 2022 Annual Town Meeting for approval. In January, 2022 the 100% Design plans for the Bikeway were submitted to MassDOT for review. On January 27, 2022 the Arbor Resources Committee met to review the tree removal and landscape plans. On February 9, 2022 the Conservation Commission will hold a public hearing to review the Notice of Intent filed regarding the project’s environmental impacts.
- New Connections: On the west side of Concord Road, a sidewalk connection to Bonnievale Drive was added, as well as a ramp connecting the new sidewalk down to the Minuteman Bikeway below.
- The parking lots at Railroad Avenue, Lavender Lane, and Concord Road will now feature permeable pavement instead of gravel. The layout of the parking lot at Lavender Lane was reoriented parallel to the path. This revision will improve safety by eliminating the need for pedestrians and cyclists to cross over an active driveway. Landscape screening was added to provide additional privacy for neighboring homes.
- Shoulder Surface: 3-foot-wide stone dust shoulders was added throughout the off-road portion of the shared use path. This will enable a runners/walkers to utilize the shoulder where the slope and grading is relatively flat.
- Bikeway amenities were added at the Concord Road parking lot to include a picnic table, bike racks, and drinking fountain. Interpretative signs at the former sites of the Shady Hill and West Bedford train stations were also included.
- Signs & Striping: Sign and striping plans were developed to help users navigate both the Railroad Avenue and off-road portions of the shared-use path safely.
For additional information, please contact email@example.com.
The Minuteman Bikeway, a popular rail trail for regional commuters and recreational users, currently ends at Depot Park near the intersection of South Road and Loomis Street. This project will extend the Bikeway to just before the Bedford/Concord Town Line via a paved 12-foot-wide path along the Reformatory Branch Trail. To connect the Bikeway to the Trail, the south side of Railroad Avenue will be made accessible to bicycles and pedestrians via a 10-foot-wide shared use path.
The Town had received approval from MassDOT in 2014 to use state and federal funding for construction. The project is now earmarked for the FY2022 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) at a projected cost of $11,000,168. The Town is responsible for design costs, right-of-way acquisitions, and non-participating construction costs unrelated to the Bikeway itself such as fiber optic upgrades.
The following timeline is anticipated:
- MassDOT 25% Design Public Hearing - February 6, 2020
- 75% Design Development - October, 2020
- 100% Design Submission - January, 2022
- Right-of-Way Acquisition
- Environmental Permitting
- Construction Advertisement - August, 2022
- Anticipated Construction – Spring, 2023 to Fall, 2024
Off Road Shared Use Path
(Railroad Avenue to Concord Town Line)
|2004||Town Meeting approves funding for feasibility study.|
A Reformatory Branch Rail to Trail feasibility study first examined extending the Minuteman Bikeway along the former Reformatory Branch of the B&M Railroad.
A supplemental study was conducted to examine path surface treatment options, constructability, anticipated impacts, maintenance requirements and costs.
Town Meeting approves using bituminous asphalt surface for the off-road portion of the Bikeway, and approves extending the project from Concord Road to the Concord Town Line.
|2011||Town Meeting approves design funding|
2010 – 2015
Bike accommodations along Railroad Avenue were extensively studied and discussed. A shared-use path, as recommended by MassDOT, was ultimately approved by the Select Board.
MassDOT approves the use of State and Federal funding, through the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
|2016||Town Meeting approves funding for design of the project.|
2016 - 2017
MassDOT requested that an underpass be used at the Concord Road crossing for safety reasons. An analysis was conducted and presented to the Select Board on February 13, 2017.
25% Design Plans submitted to MassDOT for review and comment. Project was approved by the MPO for FFY22 TIP funding.
Town/VHB hosted an open house for the project abutters to discuss the project status and any specific ROW questions/concerns, impacts, etc.
Select Board signs VHB contract amendment to fund design of the Concord Road underpass, and take the project to 100% design.
Design Public Hearing held by MassDOT at Town Hall on February 6, 2020.
75% Design Plans submitted to MassDOT.
|August, 2021||Arbor Resource Committee reviewed tree removal and landscape plans at August 18th meeting.|
|December, 2021||75% Right-of-Way Plans approved for acquisition by MassDOT. Appraisals preformed on all affected privately-owned parcels.|
|January, 2022||100% Design Plans submitted to MassDOT. Arbor Resource Committee reviewed revised tree removal landscape plans at January 27th meeting.|
|February, 2022||Conservation Commission reviews and approves Notice of Intent, Town property dedications, and Section 4(f) forms at February 9th meeting.|
Annual Town Meeting authorizes $1.5M to purchase the lands rights needed to construct the project. However, the article required to grant permission for the Town to purchase the land rights through an eminent domain process, only obtained 60% of the votes required, whereas a 2/3rds supermajority vote was needed.
|May, 2022||The Select Board votes to bring back the project’s right-of-way acquisition to fall Special Town Meeting|
- 100% Color Roll Plan - March, 2022
- Tree removal application Cover memo Feb 23, 2022
- 75% ROW Plans, updated February 14, 2022
- Conservation Comission presentation, February 9, 2022
- 100% Design plans Jan 14, 2022
- Land taking Town GIS Maps - Minuteman Bikeway Extension, January 2022
- Minuteman Bikeway Extension, Tree removal plans
- 75% Design Plans October 30, 2020
- Design Public Hearing Written Comment Responses March 12, 2020
- 25% Design Hearing Presentation February 6, 2020
- 25% Design Aerial Plans - Updated January 3, 2020
- 25% Design Color Plans – updated April 4, 2019
- February 25, 2019 Select Board Presentation
- Functional Design Report – 2017
- Project Summary to Date - 2017
- 25% Design Plan Submission – 2017
- February 13, 2017 Select Board presentation
- Project Summary to Date - 2015
- Project Notification Form – 2009
- Minuteman West Bikeway Rail to Trail: Supplemental Feasibility Study – 2008
- West Bedford Bike Path Feasibility Study – 2005