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Needham Continues its Progress with BCRT

By Tad Staley - Posted on 24 October 2012

The town of Needham continues to move forward with its consideration of the BCRT effort. The next step in the process will take place at the town meeting on Monday, October 29th, when there will be a vote on an engineering feasibility study, which would be funded by Needham’s Community Preservation Committee.

Note: Due to Hurricane Sandy, the Special Town meeting has been postponed until November 13th. Still time to contact your Needham town meeting members!

The Board of Selectmen tonight voted unanimously in favor of funding the study. The feasibility study would be focused only on this Needham Junction to Charles River section of abandoned railway, and the project managed by BCRTA with oversight from town officials.


In July 2012, BCRTA asked the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) to fund a Conceptual Planning and Design Study. This study will apply exclusively to the Needham Junction to Dover portion of the abandoned railway. (Refer to discussion below for more information on other abandoned tracks in town.)

The purpose of the study is to obtain critical background information and an assessment of feasibility on various aspects of the project from an experienced engineering firm.

Based on a proposal from an engineering firm, the study is estimated to cost $35,000. The proposed feasibility study will address the following critical issues:


  • The timber pile bridge crossing the Charles River 
  • Roadway crossings 
  • Surfacing options 
  • Current trail alignment and conditions 
  • Environmental matters and wetland resource areas, vegetation  
  • Trail access, trail heads 
  • Parking considerations 
  • ADA access


As early as Spring 2013, BCRTA will submit an article on the Town Meeting warrant, seeking to move forward on the project. The first step in this process will be requesting Town approval for a lease from the MBTA. The proposed engineering study will enable officials and town meeting members to make an informed decision on the project. 

If you are a Needham resident, please encourage your Town Meeting members to vote yes on the funding of the Rail Trail Feasibility 



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