BETA designing City of Springfield’s McKnight Community Trail

August 12, 2020

The City of Springfield is moving forward with plans to develop a shared use trail through the McKnight neighborhood along the City’s section of the abandoned Highland Division Rail Line. The McKnight Community Trail will create multi-modal access through the heart of Springfield; enhance urban form; promote conservation of habitat and biodiversity; provide opportunity for personal wellness and fitness, recreation, transportation; and promote economic development in the City. The resulting trail will be an outstanding amenity for the residents of Springfield and the region for commuters, dog walkers, pedestrians and cyclists, students, and nature enthusiasts.

BETA is working with the City and MassDOT Highway Division to design and construct the 1.5 mile shared-use path. With the 25% design submission due later this year, BETA is coordinating the project’s many challenges with the City of Springfield, engaging the local community and neighborhood groups, and developing trail design concepts and alternatives, including a 1,500 foot long elevated boardwalk to protect sensitive environmental resource areas.

The City of Springfield recently received a significant MassTrails grant to help fund this important project. These annual grants are used to design, create, and maintain a diverse network of trails to be used and enjoyed by Massachusetts residents and visitors.

BETA has extensive experience working with communities and MassDOT on similar trail, pedestrian path, and bike facility projects. We are currently working on the Cochitutate Rail Trail in Natick, the extension of the Mansfield Rail Trail through Norton, and the Connecticut Riverwalk in Chicopee.

Interested in talking to our experts about a trail or shared-use path project in your community? Please contact Dan McCormack at or 781.255.1982. The 2021 MassTrails application period will be opened in the fall.