<- Artist's rendition of new crossing over the Charles River in Newton Lower Falls.
This conversion of an unused and dangerous old
railroad bridge in Newton Lower Falls to a pedestrian-friendly facility has created a walkable green space environment to residents, plus access to trails
on DCR land along both sides of the Charles
River. In addition, a
near-term mixed use retail development on the Wellesley side would become attractive as a walking
destination for Newton Lower
Falls residents. Easy pedestrian access over the bridge also reduces traffic and parking congestion in the area. Our
proposals to the CPC helped fund these improvements and landscaping of the
bridge and its approaches from Concord Street in Newton to Washington Street in
The BPTF partnered on this project with the Newton
Conservators, the Wellesley Natural Resources Committee, the CRWA, and the DCR,
and worked hard to advance this project toward construction in
2010. Work continues on the path on the Wellesley side of the bridge.
We're very proud to acknowledge recognition (along with State Representative Kay Khan) by the Newton Conservators for the completion of the Lower Falls bridge project.
Here are some pictures of the snow-covered bridge from this winter
The bridge is decked, the railings up, and is usable. Plans for the spring include a crosswalk at Concord St. and some amount of finishing of the pathway leading up to the bridge on each side.
Construction on the bridge has started. Over the past week, the old timber decking of the bridge has been removed. New decking will be installed, the abutments sandblasted, and then painted. Assuming the weather is cooperative, this should be done in about three weeks (mid-November).
<- Here's the old railroad bridge
In December 2008, George Kirby, chair of the Newton Bicycle/Pedestrian Task Force, explained the goals, future plans, and benefits of the construction of a rail-trail bridge and associated path in Newton Lower Falls:
On January 14, 2009, a proposal was made to the Newton Community Preservation Committee (CPC), detailing the location, need, current conditions, and timing for the project. Goals, funding, plans and status are all listed here:
http://www.ci.newton.ma.us/cpa/projects/lower-falls/lower-falls.htm (deleted by city during website change).
The BPTF is working with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Newton Preservation Committee (CPC), and the Newton Conservators
to convert a former rail bridge over the Charles River at Newton Lower
Falls to a greenway for pedestrian and bicycle access. We are also
advocating for the proposed Bay Colony Rail Trail from Newton south to
Needham, Dover, and Medfield, creating an off-road “rail trail” greenway
that could rival the tremendously popular Minuteman Trail through