Construction on the remaining sections of the Northern Strand Trail will begin this spring, the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs announced on Feb. 7, 2020.
Additional improvements to existing sections of the trail will be made too, under the $13.7 million construction contract funded by the state.
The completed project will result in a transportation and recreational corridor of about 11.5 miles from the Mystic River to the Lynn Shoreline, connecting the communities of Everett, Malden, Revere, Saugus and Lynn.
“We’re thrilled to see 27 years of our devoted work and cooperative efforts with countless local governments and organizations finally reaching fruition,” said Bike to the Sea Executive Director Yurij Lojko. “Bike to the Sea, Inc. began dreaming about a safe biking route to the beach, but we’re ending up with something even more important – a vibrant mixed-use community path with recreation and transportation benefits to all people north of Boston. We look forward to the completion of this very exciting step in expanding Boston’s off-road community path network.”
The Northern Strand Trail is a terrific example of the state’s efforts to expand access to outdoor resources, according to Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. She added, “Trails connect communities, offer recreational and transit opportunities while providing significant environmental benefits, and we are proud to support this project, which will provide greater mobility and access to Massachusetts’ great outdoors for residents in these Gateway Cities.”
The $13.7 million construction contract was awarded to R. Zoppo Corporation through a public bidding process. Construction operations began with field work starting in early 2020, and full construction activities will commence in early spring. The construction work will be observed in the field by Stantec, with Construction Administration services being provided under the leadership of Brown Richardson + Rowe, which was – together with Stantec – hired by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to design and permit the Northern Strand on behalf of the five communities.
The contract is being administered by the City of Revere on behalf of all five communities. Project updates and projected work schedules will be shared with the public via the City of Revere website and social media outreach.
“We at the Solomon Foundation were pleased to be a small but catalytic part of this effort to connect together five cities and towns and in the process to unlock access to our natural legacy of rivers, marshes and beaches,” said Solomon Foundation Executive Director Herb Nolan. “With help from the Barr Foundation we were able to partner with Bike to the Sea, Inc. and with the City of Lynn in advocacy, planning, and early design. Kudos to the many leaders involved from the grass roots to the governor’s office who came together to make this quarter century vision a reality.”
Other officials also weighed in on this news:
“Now, more than ever, trails such as the Northern Strand can provide an important travel corridor for the public to get to destinations,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The Northern Strand Community Trail will encourage more walking and bicycling for people trying to reach retail areas, schools and other locations. This project is an example of how we can achieve the visions and goals set forth in the State Bicycle and State Pedestrian Plans. We have to give more people more choices for travel and this trail does that.”
“I am excited to see that we are one step closer towards the expansion of the Northern Strand Community Path through Lynn becoming a reality,” said Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “The realization of this project has been a collaborative effort throughout the years between state and local officials, community groups and residents. I look forward to the day in the very near future when our residents can enjoy this family-friendly recreational path.”
“The Northern Strand Community Trail is not only a wonderful recreational escape for people in the densely-populated cities north of Boston, its completion will provide an important component of alternative transportation as the region addresses vehicular traffic congestion on the north shore,” said Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo. “The extension fulfills the dream of a ‘Bike to the Sea’ link from Boston to the seashore. The trail will complement the new development happening in Revere and other North shore communities and contribute to healthy lifestyles that benefit everyone. Intrepid commuters may choose to ride a bike from the North Shore into Boston—instead of sitting in traffic. For almost all of the way into Boston, the Northern Strand Community Trail will provide a scenic alternative path to their destination.”
“Malden greatly appreciates the work and investment being made by the Governor’s Gateway City Parks team that will double the paved length of the Northern Strand Trail and fully realize the vision of the five communities and the Commonwealth to connect our neighborhoods to our waterfronts, schools, parks and businesses and beyond via a bike and pedestrian trail,” said Malden Mayor Gary Christenson.
“We are excited to progress into the construction phase of this project, bringing us one step closer to providing safer, more secure pathways for residents and visitors to use and enjoy,” said Saugus Town Manager Scott Crabtree. “We are proud to move forward with this design that incorporated feedback from residents which was gathered during two public meetings. During the meetings, members of the public had multiple opportunities to learn about the project, ask questions, and share ideas. I would like to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for their support of this important regional initiative. I would also like to commend the Cities of Revere, Malden, Lynn, and Everett for their dedication in turning this multi-community effort into a reality. In addition, I would like to thank all of the Town’s volunteers who contributed their ideas and suggestions, which strengthened the community vision for this important recreational staple.”