Framingham, Natick-Cochituate Rail Trail (CRT) Installs Pedestrian Bridges over Routes 9 and 30Oct 27, 2020 11:04AM ● By Cythia Whitty
Work on the Natick section of the Cochituate Rail Trail (CRT) continues to progress. Overnight on Oct. 11 and 12, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) contractor (MAS Building & Bridge) installed the Route 9 Truss Bridge. At the time of this writing, concrete is scheduled to be poured and cured the week of Oct. 19.
The Route 30 bridge is scheduled to be erected on the night of Nov. 1. The pouring of the Route 30 concrete deck is scheduled for Nov. 9. This schedule is dependent on the weather.
“A few dozen hardy residents stayed up late to watch the Route 9 bridge—weighing over 50,000 pounds—be craned into position. The Natick GIS Division was on site to take drone videos and pictures, which can be enjoyed on the Natick GIS Facebook page,” Josh Ostroff said. Ostroff is chair of Natick’s Cochituate Rail Trail Advisory Committee and vice chair of the Transportation Advisory Committee.
The new bridge over Route 9 replaced a 100-year old railroad bridge, which was demolished last December. The new bridge is longer, allowing for sidewalks along Route 9, and set about 3 feet higher from the roadway for added safety. It’s strong enough to support an ambulance if it is ever needed.
At this time, approximately 85 percent of the bike path has been graded and the intermediate course of asphalt has been placed. The top course is tentatively scheduled for this fall. Loaming and seeding is currently taking place, as well as the installation of three-rail fencing, and handrails on the bridge approaches at Routes 9 and 30.
After the placement of the top asphalt course and striping (late November/early December 2020), the contractor plans to suspend operations for the winter until the Spring of 2021.
Work set for the 2021 construction season will include Rte. 9 median work, curbing, sidewalks, milling and paving as well as milling and paving Rte. 30. Curbing and sidewalks are already completed. The contractor will place the amenities, such as benches, signs, bike racks, and plaques, in the coming months.
Construction of the CRT is paid for by federal and state funding set aside for bicycle and pedestrian projects. When the CRT is completed, it will run about 4 miles from Saxonville to the new Natick center commuter rail station, now under reconstruction to be fully accessible.
Details and progress on the Natick CRT project are at NatickMA.gov/crt.