Neponset River Trail: Fixing a gap
May 4, 2005
Despite the fact that the trail has been open for two years, there
still has never been an opening ceremony. There is still work going
on. MBTA repairs to the Shawmut Junction trolley overpass have closed
the trail from 7 pm - 7 am for several weeks, but it should be open
full-time by the end of May. There will be a 2-3 day closure of the
trail from Granite Ave. to Shawmut Junction a bit later to fix the
damage that construction vehicles did to the permeable surface section
of the trail along the salt marsh. Speaking of which, a piece of that
salt marsh is being restored to its original state, and that work should
be completed by August, with interpretive signs saying what was done.
Granite Avenue Crossing
A walk light where the trail crosses busy Granite Ave. is on its way.
Two state agencies, the Division of Conservation and Recreation (DCR),
which owns the trail, the Mass. Highway Department, which owns the
adjacent drawbridge over the river, and the City of Boston, which owns
the road and a traffic signal a block away, have had to come to terms.
The final (hopefully) obstacle has been to figure out how to wire the
new light into the old, undocumented system of signals connected with
the bridge for coordination and power. It is hoped that the new light
will be installed by summer.
Funding for a "resource management plan" to connect the existing trail
to the Fowl Meadow section of the Blue Hills Reservation through
Milton, Mattapan, and Hyde Park is being proposed in the legislature.
All of the state senators and representatives along the Neponset
corridor should be supporting this connection of a great inland park
to the sea, providing a corridor for human-powered transportation.
The Neponset doesn't end at Tenean Beach; the extuary extends past
the gas tank to UMass/Boston. Post-9/11 security issues have slowed
progress toward extension of the Neponset Trail between the Southeast
Expressway and the brightly painted gas tank on an easement along the
edge of Keyspan's property, but discussions are occurring once more.
Funding exists for trail construction, which will be partly on a
boardwalk over sensitive seasonal wetlands, but it needs to be spent
soon, so it is hoped that an agreement between the DCR and Keyspan
can be reached this summer or earlier. The DCR also needs $120,000
from the legislature to match committee federal funding for this piece
of the trail.
On Monday, April 4, the Neponset River Watershed Association presented
plans for the Neponset Riverwalk, a 5-mile-long walking/biking/jogging
path along the eastern bank of the Neponset River to the Environmental
Committee of the Quincy City Council.
Check it out in PDF format on the NepRWA web site.
Smaller than in the past, this year's festival will kick off at the
Martini Shell in Hyde Park on Thursday, June 30. There will be weekly
movies at Pope John Paul II Park and weekly children's events at
Ryan Playground in Mattapan. On Wednesday, August 10, there will
be a bike ride upstream from the current end of the trail at Central
Ave. in Milton to discuss possibilities for the future.
Neponset River Greenway Council