Community Preservation funds sought for Assabet River pedestrian bridge 

By Betsy Levinson
September 25, 2023

A potential pedestrian bridge over the Assabet River was described by Town Planning Director Elizabeth Hughes as “a long-term community goal and the linchpin that will bring together existing and planned open space and trail resources in West Concord.”  

An application for $200,000 was submitted to the Community Preservation Committee earlier this month for partial funding for the bridge, which is designed to start at the planned 40B housing development on Baker Avenue and will link to the MBTA commuter rail station and businesses in the West Concord village. 

The total project budget is listed as $850,000, with $650,000 coming from “other sources,” the application states. 

Hughes said the Assabet River Multi-Use Bridge and Trail project is in the 25% design phase.  

“The project has been approved for placement on the state’s Transportation Improvements Program (TIP) and is now eligible for $8 million in state and federal transportation funding,” noted Hughes. 

Initially proposed in 2005 and included in subsequent studies in 2007 and 2010, the town received $35,000 in CPA funds in 2018 for a detailed survey of the 1,000-foot section of the river. 

The new bridge will potentially link to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail providing recreational space for joggers and non-motorized cycling. 

Hughes said the town will apply for a MassTrails grant in February of $250,000 and a federal Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods grant of $400,000. The Federal grant requires a 50 percent match from the community which would be satisfied by the CPA funds and MassTrails grant. 

Documents about the project can be seen here and here at