The inactive railroad property, located just north of Route 20, was leased to the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) by the MBTA in 2010, giving the DCR the right to construct, operate, and maintain a trail way. Eversource has an existing right-of-way access because of its power lines within the corridor. Weston does not own this land but does have Conservation Land and trails running along the state's property.
Eversource is building an access road within the MBTA inactive railroad property and existing Eversource right-of-way. The access road will allow for the safe operation and maintenance of the existing electric transmission facilities on the right-of-way. This work will include removing the old rails and ties of the former Mass Central Rail line and creating a 16-foot wide gravel drive. The following link is a map of the project area:
Mass. DCR Involvement
The Mass. DCR has obtained funding to pave the Eversource gravel access road in order to create a 10-foot wide, multi-use greenway as part of the planned Mass Central Rail Trail - Wayside. The Wayside Rail Trail will run from Berlin to Waltham, including the three-mile stretch in Weston.
Eversource and DCR filed a joint Notice of Intent with Weston's Conservation Commission. That permit was issued in June of 2017. Construction, from Wayland to the trestle bridge in Weston near the Waltham town line, is set to start in October of 2017 and is expected to last through early winter with final restoration in the spring of 2018.
Hours of construction are anticipated to be Monday - Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Weather or other unexpected circumstances may cause crews, from time to time, to work longer hours or on Saturdays. All work associated with this project will be located entirely within the existing rights-of-way and will not interrupt electric service. Construction activities include mowing, installing erosion control barriers, removing the existing rails and ties, grading, compacting, laying gravel, and then paving.
Eversource has met with Weston officials to review the historic assets within the corridor and those assets have been flagged in order to protect them.
Trail Access: Utility Corridor and Conservation Land
It is important to remember that the utility corridor is an active construction zone and unauthorized access during construction is not permitted. Weston's conservation land is open, but residents need to be cognizant of the construction zone and closed access to the utility corridor. The following link is a map of the abutting trail access points along the utility corridor construction zone: