Ashland’s Riverwalk is Taking Shape

Cynthia Whitty
Issue Date: 
March, 2019
Article Body: 

Working closely with the Open Space and Recreation Committee, Jenn Ball, Ashland’s assistant town manager, has been managing the Riverwalk project.
The existing Riverwalk Trail runs along the Sudbury River and the north side of Mill Pond near downtown Ashland.
“The first step of the project, which included widening the trail, installing stone dust and granite steps to create an ADA-compliant path to an observation deck, was completed last year,” Ball explained.
The second phase will take place this spring. Ball said, “The contractor will come back to install aggregate stone dust, which will compact tightly to meet ADA requirements, along the ADA path and new parking area next to the Animal Control building off of Ponderosa.
“Next month we will go out to bid for a long span pedestrian bridge that will connect the newly enhanced pathway along Sudbury Road to Mill Pond. The bridge will span over the inlet. We hope construction will begin this spring. If so, the bridge should be completed by next fall.”
The large span pedestrian bridge across the Mill Pond Park will provide direct access to the Bay Circuit Trail (a 200-mile regional trail extending from Duxbury to Kingston) and Mill Pond Park. The trail will extend pedestrian access to downtown and connect existing recreational areas for residents of all ages and abilities and could serve as a driver to revitalizing the downtown area.
Funds for the $1.2 million project are coming from Ashland’s Community Preservation Committee; the state’s economic development bond bill, An Act to Provide Opportunities for All; and a federal grant from the U.S. Land and Water Conservation Fund.