The Knowledge Corridor – Restore Vermonter Project included funding for the construction of a bicycle/pedestrian underpass in Northampton.
The underpass — which is now under construction — will connect the Mass Central Rail Trail, which currently terminates on the east side of the railroad tracks, with the Northampton Bike Trail on the west side of the tracks.
The official projected completion date for this project is October 25, 2017 — but a reliable source has told us that it may be finished as early as late July or early August.
Construction progress images
The document below, which is from the so-called Public Filing Cabinet on the City of Northampton’s website, shows the plan for the underpass that was presented to the city’s Planning Board in early 2014. (This is the current site drawing for the project.)
The project was advertised by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (for MassDOT) during the winter of 2016.
March 30, 2016 | The bids (6 in total) were opened — with a low bid of $4,434,700 submitted by Northern Construction Services of Palmer, Ma.
June 2, 2016 | The MBTA issued a Notice to Proceed [with construction] to the contractor.
July 2016 | vegetation on the site was cleared.
September 2016 | Construction staking of the work site was completed.
October 2016 | The contractor commenced work at the site on or about October 12, 2016.
Early November 2016 | a shoofly track (around the area of the work site where the first part of the underpass will be constructed) was set up by shifting a section of the active rail line to the west about twenty feet.
February 2017 | the eastern half of the underpass now appears to be complete. When the weather improves the active rail line will be shifted back to its original location so that the western half of the tunnel can be constructed.
Early April 2017 | a long section of new track is being built above the completed half of the underpass. This track will be cut-in to the main line and the shoofly track that was constructed last November will be removed. Once this happens the western half of the underpass will be constructed.
Late April 2017 | the new track above the completed portion of the underpass has been cut-in and the temporary shoofly track was removed.
May 2017 | construction of the western half of the underpass has commenced.
Further details will be provided as they become available.
“Northampton underpass project under way off King Street”
Daily Hampshire Gazette | October 21, 2016
Construction of Northampton Underpass Starts
Trains in the Valley | October 17, 2016
Development of the rail trail network in the Connecticut River Valley
A series of short videos – with a particular focus on the history and the politics of how they got built as trails.
By Craig Della Penna
Page last updated: May 30, 2017
Page last reviewed: February 19, 2017