Natick and Framingham celebrate rail trail project, connecting communities and enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities

September 29, 2021
Members of the BETA project team with Joshua Ostroff and Jonathan Gulliver

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) held a ribbon cutting for the Natick/Framingham Cochituate Rail Trail project on Tuesday, September 28 with the new Route 30 shared-use path bridge that connects the Natick and Framingham trail as a backdrop. Jonathan Gulliver, Highway Administrator at MassDOT, served as the master of ceremonies and opened by acknowledging the immediate regional benefit communities feel when rail trail projects are completed.

BETA provided design and construction phase services for the project, which spans 2.4 miles from the Framingham border to just north of the MBTA station in Natick. The new section of trail connects to the Saxonville section in Framingham with plans for more connections in the future. Unofficially open for months, the new section of trail has been well-received by the community as a wonderful asset with spectacular views.

Lt Gov. Karyn Polito emphasized the beauty of the Cochituate Rail Trail and sense of togetherness it brings to the community, while also looking towards the future of rail trail connectivity in the state, “There is more work to be done… we have a unique opportunity to allocate more dollars towards outdoor recreation and amenities.”

Calling the project “a milestone on our transformation as a region,” Joshua Ostroff, Chair of the Cochituate Advisory Board, recognized that “we are in a new age where thousands of people are looking for clean and healthy transportation and recreation opportunities.”

Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer is especially proud of the connection the trail provides to Framingham residents, including underserved populations. Calling it a social justice opportunity, she shared her excitement about the trail work being done throughout the state.

In addition to creating a connection between the two communities and providing additional recreational opportunities, the trail also gives residents an attractive alternative to driving. With its proximity to office buildings, shopping centers, schools, and residential areas and a future connection to the MBTA commuter rail station at Natick Center, residents use the trail daily for both commuting and recreation.

BETA is proud to have worked on this milestone project and add it to a growing list of trails and multi-use paths we’ve designed. For more information about building connections in your community, email us today.