December 2009 Newsletter

December 2009: The ARRT crossing of busy RT-85 in Hudson was recently upgraded with a Cross Alert Systems © traffic light. The system was paid with MassDOT maintenance funds and they will maintain it. The cost is about 1/3 of a conventional cross light and features solar power and automated motion detectors.

The system will be removed when the fully operational traffic signal is installed at 85/Giasson during the upcoming RT-85 reconstruction project. A 2nd Cross Alert system will installed at the Whispering Pines crosswalk when the Main Street bridge project finishes in May 2010.

July 23, 2009: The MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) voted to include construction funding for the entire unbuilt ARRT (Acton, Maynard, Stow) in the 2011-15 Regional Transportation Plan. The amount they voted is $20,348,520 which includes a 4% annual inflation from the 2009 estimated construction cost. The vote had a wide enough margin that it is reasonably assured that it will survive to the final amendment document in October. However, any supporting comments, e-mails, etc. to the MPO after release of the draft RTP can never hurt. The MPO's action today satisfies Federal Highway's condition for the release of the rest of our 2005 design funds, so EarthTech's 100% design work can resume this October.

This is great news! The ARRT project had been essentially frozen since August 2008 and this gets us back on the state and federal budgets, with construction now scheduled to start in 2013.
  June 1, 2009: On Monday the 1st, The Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge will start allowing bicycles to use 3 designated roads in the refuge. They are the White Pond Road-West Patrol Road combo, 'Trail C' and Craven Lane. A map of the 3 routes is here.

Access to these roads is due in no small part, to the efforts of the Stow and Maynard governments and ARRT volunteers back in 2005. The result was the 2006 federal report that designated several abandoned roads for bicycle use. This will allow bicycling on 5 miles of refuge roads, as a means of access to the 2010 visitor center and as a connection to the Assabet River Rail Trail.

November 5, 2009: The Maynard Historical Society is considering designating Marble Farm as an historical landmark. More information about the farm can be read here. It is located just a few feet from the ARRT ROW, on the Maynard-Acton town line.

July 27, 2009: The Town of Stow and the owner of 'Track Road' have signed the easement purchase that the May 2008 Town Meeting had authorized. The final price was $220,000, which was provided by Federal, Town and Stow Conservation Trust funds. So the access to all 1.9 miles of Track Road in Stow, is now resolved.