Construction Will Begin to Complete Northern Strand Community Trail

February 10, 2020

Elizabeth Gervacio

 Construction Will Begin to Complete Northern Strand Community Trail

Bike to the Sea has been working since 1993 to create the Northern Strand Community Trail

LYNN, MA – The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, along with the Cities of Everett, Lynn, Malden, and Revere and the Town of Saugus announced today that construction on remaining sections of the Northern Strand community trail will begin. The completed project will result in a transportation and recreation corridor of about 11.5 miles from the Mystic River to the Lynn shoreline, connecting the communities of Everett, Malden, Revere, Saugus, and Lynn. Through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Gateway City Parks program, the Baker-Polito Administration has invested more than $15 million to design, permit, and construct the Northern Strand.

“The Baker-Polito Administration has made expanding access to the Commonwealth’s outdoor resources a priority, and the Northern Strand is a terrific example of that work in action,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “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.”

“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.”

The $13.7 million construction contract has been awarded to R. Zoppo Corporation through a public bidding process.  Construction operations have begun with field work starting in early 2020, and full construction activities will commence in early spring.  In addition to constructing remaining sections of the trail, R. Zoppo Corp will make additional improvements to existing sections. 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.

“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 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.

“This is great news for Lynn. The Northern Strand Community Path is a great example of what can be achieved when all stakeholders work together to turn vision into reality,” said State Representative Peter Capano (D-Lynn)

“This multi-community project is a huge environmental and recreational win that will benefit the entire North Shore,” said State Senator Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn). “While much focus has been put on the significant development taking place in the area, it is important to highlight the access to open space and the transformation of this trail.”

“The extension of the Northern Strand Community Trail to the Lynn shoreline is a great example of what strong collaboration amongst state, local, and community leaders can accomplish,” said State Representative Dan Cahill (D-Lynn). “The completion of the Northern Strand will bring many benefits to residents North of Boston including access to open space, transit, and recreation.”

“This is an exciting time for Lynn and the Ward 6 West Lynn, part of the Community Path,” said Ward 6 Councilor Fred Hogan. “I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication to make this become a reality.”

“I look forward to the construction of the Northern Strand Community Trail beginning this Spring,” said Ward 7 Councilor Jay Wash. “It is impressive what can be accomplished when we get together and work towards a common goal. This recreational path will be a positive addition to the neighborhoods of Ward 7 and the greater community of Lynn. Thank you to all those involved for helping to make it a reality.”

“The Community Path Coalition is so proud of how far this project has come, from its beginning as a small community driven initiative to today’s vision of a collaborative, multifaceted, and interconnected green space,” said Lisa Wallace, President of the Community Path of Lynn Coalition. “It has brought together our businesses, residents, and local and state government to work together to highlight some of Lynn’s untapped assets. It’s uniting our neighborhoods and building out a bigger vision for an engaged, healthy community.”

“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. “We were able to partner 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.”

Construction crews, fencing, and signage along the trail corridor will be visible during the construction process, which may limit access at times. Temporary trail closures are possible in order to accommodate the logistics of various work activities.  Construction plans will prioritize public safety during heavy construction while balancing opportunities to maintain public access to portions of the trail where possible.

The investment of more than $15 million by Energy and Environmental Affairs to design, permit, and construct the Northern Strand recognizes the importance of this trail corridor to the five communities while building upon a key Baker-Polito Administration initiative.  In 2018 Governor Baker and Lt. Gov. Polito established an Interagency Trails Team, which is led by the Governor’s office and is composed of staff from EEA, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The purpose of the team is to help develop a unified vision for a trails network and translate that into strategic investments, policy innovations to facilitate development of trails, and shared partnerships with municipal partners. The Northern Strand Community Trail project is a direct result of the group’s “one team, one plan, one vision” approach to advance multi-use trails across the Commonwealth.

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