Photo of the newly opened Bay Colony Rail Trail in Needham.
Bay Colony Rail Trail Status
Evan Weisenfeld recently asked me what I knew about the current status of the Bay Colony Rail Trail (BCRT) in town, and since I suspect this is a topic of great interest, I will respond here where more will see it, than directly to his comment.
In my mind there continues to be strong interest to build the Medfield section of the BCRT, which, from memory, is less than 1.5 miles long. It would run from Ice House Road to the Dover line. The town study committee that was appointed several years ago to look into building the BCRT, I believe, was waiting to see what Dover did, and now that Dover has voted at its town meeting last week to proceed, I expect that things will start up anew in Medfield.
Christian Donner has been our town’s longest involved proponent of the BCRT, and I read this past week that he thinks we should go ahead with the BCRT without the environmental insurance (it costs the town about $25,000, if the matching state monies still exist, and $50,000 if not), and that we should build it with the use of our DPW, town funds, and private fund raising. If we build it from Ice House Road to the Dover line, I expect Dover would build their section out to meet our section. The BCRT will be a great asset to the town and the region once it is built.
The financial landscape has changed because of the declining price available from recycling the rails, so that the money earned from salvaging the rails will no longer pay for the total installation costs, as it did in the past, so funds will need to be secured for the building of the BCRT. Needham got about $200,000 in state monies from an earmark that Rep. Garlick got passed several years ago, which they combined with monies that were raised privately.