NOTE: As of January 2016 the section at the north side of Maynard (north of Concord Street) is difficult to walk, as there was a storm sewer pipe installation in 2015 which left the Trail blocked. See photo.
NOTE: Bids accepted Sept 2015, opened February 23, 2016. Six bids received, with range $6.7 to $10.4 million dollars. According to the timeline, construction will start June 2016, all paving done in late 2017, and project completed (fencing. landscaping, etc.) in early 2018.
The Assabet River Rail Trail website www.arrtinc.org has posted the latest blueprints for the rail trail section to go from the Acton train station to the White Pond Road Bridge at the Maynard:Stow border. This phase does not include extending into Stow on what is known as "Track Road," although that unpaved road will remain open to walkers and bicyclists. The accepted bid's budget for this 3.4 mile section of the trail in Acton and Maynard was $6.7 million dollars. See plans at:
|Signs in Stow, Maynard and Acton.|
No surprises. Most of it is 12 foot wide, paved, with 2 foot stone dust shoulders. Parts have a flanking fence and/or a drainage ditch ("swale") on one side or both. Sections through the center of Maynard are narrowed to ten feet wide - a few squeezed spots to only eight feet wide.
PERMITS: Permitting has been completed on Section 91, the Wetlands Protection Act, the Clean Water Act Section 404(ACOE) and Section 401(WQC). Those abbreviations are Army Corp Of Engineers and Water Quality Certification, respectively. Section 91 calls for retaining public access to waterfront. Section 404 addresses any land subjected to dredging or filling. If wetlands are destroyed, there has to be compensation via construction of an equivalent wetlands area elsewhere.
|Surveyors' stakes along the Trail. Numbers|
are distance in feet from Stow end.
The south end of this planned section connects to White Pond Road, in the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge has a parking lot on White Pond Road, and allows bicycling on about half of its 15 miles of trails.
According to the plans, sites along the Assabet River Rail Trail will have benches, bicycle racks and information kiosks. Some parking spaces will be lost in the municipal lot behind CVS and the Outdoor Store, and in the parking lot behind the Post Office.
This does not complete the Assabet River Rail Trail. The south end (Marlborough and most of Hudson) was paved years ago, but the completion of this north end will still leave the middle four miles unfinished. From the White Pond Bridge on the Maynard:Stow border it is possible to walk or bike on a dirt road ("Track Road") past Sudbury Road, in Stow, almost to Lake Boon, but no farther, as there is no bridge over the Assabet River. Any connection between north and south is years away.
Options under consideration are continuing on the original railroad right of way - difficult because there are currently private landowners along that route that have no interest in selling their land - or detouring south through the center of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge and then west in Sudbury.