Beginning Monday, December 21, 2020 sections the Rail Trail will be closed indefinitely from in order to complete necessary improvements to the trail. The work is being done in conjunction with a Mass Trails Grant and is expected to be completed in Spring of 2021.
What can trail users do to help?
1. Please be patient with the work and the timetable. If the weather cooperates and the asphalt plant opens up for the season, some sections may be repaved by mid-April.
2. Please stay off the sections of the trail under repair for safety purposes and not interfere with crews working on the trail.
3. Please DO NOT move the fences and barriers on the closed sections. This will minimize access to the trail. The goal is to have the repairs completed in the early spring.
For updates on progress, please visit: https://www.townofchelmsford.us/265/Bicycle-Pedestrian-Advisory-Committee or see the timeline below:
4/16 Update: Good news! The trail in Chelmsford is now open from the Lowell Line/Rt. 3 Tunnel to Pond Street. Beginning Tuesday, April 20th, the trail in Chelmsford will be closed from Pond Street south to the Westford town line for repairs.
4/8 Update: As of this afternoon, the section of the trail from Golden Cove to Heart Pond has re-opened. The trail from the Lowell line to Golden Cove remains closed until further notice so that the DPW can complete shoulder work on the trail. We will be closing the trail from Heart Pond to the Westford line on April 20th to begin work there.
4/2 Update: Beginning Monday, April 5th, the Chelmsford DPW will begin paving the excavated and prepared sections of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT). Work will begin at the Lowell line and proceed southward to Chelmsford Center and then toward Pond Street/Heart Pond. The paving process will take several days to complete and consists of laying a binder followed by a topcoat. The trail will remain closed through this entire process and it is important to stay off the trail until the work is complete. When paving is complete, the DPW will remove fencing and make an announcement that those completed sections of the trail are open for use.
Once repairs to the section of the BFRT from Lowell to Pond Street is complete, excavation of damaged pavement between Pond Street and the Westford line will begin. It is anticipated that repairs to this section of trail should be completed by the beginning of May.
3/29 Update: The trail from Heart Pond to the Westford line will remain open until the work from Lowell to Heart Pond is completed. DPW will continue to work on excavated areas from the Lowell line to Pond Street to prepare for paving. It is anticipated that paving of this section will occur in the second or third week in April. Paving of this section expected to take about a week to complete. Once that section is completed, pavement removal and regrading of the trail base will then move to the section from Heart Pond to the Westford line. This section is expected to be completed by early May. This approach will avoid closing the entire Chelmsford section of the trail at one time.
Please note: * Repairs and Schedule Subject to Weather Conditions*
3/22 Update: The Maple Road to Hart Pond section of the trail will be closed beginning today, Monday March 22. The Chelmsford DPW resumed repair work on the trail during the week of March 15th. Removal of damaged pavement has been done near High Street and several locations between High Street and Maple Road. This latter section is now closed to trail use due to hazards from exposed tree roots and uneven base material. Major portions of the trail are CLOSED to all use due to the amount of damaged pavement that has been removed. This makes it unsafe for bicycle and pedestrian use. From the Rt. 3 tunnel/Lowell line heading toward Chelmsford Center, a crew is working to remove roots, regrade and compact the trail base.
When the asphalt plant opens (hopefully by early April), it is expected that repaving of excavated sections will begin shortly thereafter, starting again from the Rt.3 tunnel/Lowell line and proceeding south toward Chelmsford Center and toward the Westford town line, weather permitting. Once paving and final cleanup is completed, sections of the trail will be reopened sequentially.
3/12 Update: The Chelmsford DPW will resume repair work during the week of March 15th, weather permitting. A crew will be working on the section of the trail from the Lowell line to Chelmsford Center removing roots, regrading and compacting the base material. Another crew will be working south of the center cutting and removing additional sections of damaged pavement.
2/23 Update: DPW crews are working on clearing snow along sections of the Rail Trail to accelerate melt and keep the project on track for completion. Please keep in mind that clearing is only being done to allow work to continue on the Rail Trail project and will not be completed as regular maintenance on the trail in the future. Once sufficient snow is removed and what remains has melted down, crews will continue excavating the top layer of pavement to address root incursions. Please stay tuned for further updates!
2/17 Update: Crews had been working on removing sections of pavement along the rail trail to prepare for spring paving but the recent inclimate weather has put a bit of a damper on progress for now! As soon as the snow melts, work will begin again in an effort to remain on schedule and have the trail ready for reopening in the spring. Please stay tuned for further updates!
1/14 Update: Beginning Monday, December 21, 2020 the Rail Trail will be closed indefinitely from the Lowell line to Golden Cove, Golden Cove to Chelmsford Center AND Chelmsford Center to High Street in order to complete necessary improvements to the trail. The work is being done in conjunction with a Mass Trails Grant and is expected to be completed in Spring of 2021.
DPW crews have closed sections of the rail trail to complete asphalt removal in problem areas. Please observe signage, for your own safety.
DPW crews remove asphalt and roots that have caused pavement to rise, causing safety issues along sections of the trail.