The City of Newburyport has scheduled a public meeting on Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at Newburyport City Hall to discuss preliminary plans for the design of Newburyport’s Clipper City Rail Trail along the old rail corridor owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).
In 2005, the City secured a 99-year license from the MBTA to establish a rail trail along this corridor from the commuter rail station to the Merrimack River.
Envisioned first over 30 years ago and referenced most recently in the 2001 Master Plan, 2003 Waterfront Strategic Plan, and 2005 Open Space Plan, the Clipper City Rail Trail has been a priority for the City for many years.
The multi-use pathway will provide an attractive and convenient off-road corridor for residents to walk, run, or bicycle for both recreation and non-motorized transportation purposes.
Establishing the rail trail will discourage dumping and other undesirable activities that tend to occur on abandoned land.
Play equipment and seating areas will be installed along certain portions of the trail. As a new and substantial public space, the trail corridor will provide an expansion of the recreational opportunities available to the community.
The Newburyport Rail Trail will connect the train station to the North End neighborhood and Cashman Park. Eventually, the trail will connect with the downtown’s waterfront and a larger regional network.
Using state, federal, and private grants, the City has recently hired Vollmer Associates, a landscape architecture and engineering firm, for the design phase of this mile-plus trail.
The City hopes to complete the design during 2006, depending upon the review timeframe of the Massachusetts Highway Department. To date, $1.344 million in federal and state construction funding is programmed for this project in the five-year Regional Transportation Improvement Program.
Newburyport’s Planning Office can be contacted for more information.
Please contact Geordie Vining, Senior Project Manager at the Office of Planning & Development, 978.465.4400.
Mary Eaton, Newburyport
(Editor’s Note: This was sent in by the Newburyport Planning Office as a press release. It has been “tweaked” slightly to make it easier to read on the Newburyport Political Blog. And I would like to thank Geordie Vining very much for keeping us all informed.)