• The Slater Mill (yellow) and Wilkinson Mill (stone), along the Blacktone River in Pawtucket RI

    Blackstone River Valley

    National Heritage Corridor MA,RI

Blackstone River Bikeway What is New

Construction/Design Update
February 2010

Rhode Island Massachusetts
Miles Complete

11.5

2.5

Miles Under Construction

0

0

Miles in Design

6

 
undefined

Overview

The concept of a 48 mile bikeway through the historic Blackstone River Valley, connecting Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence, Rhode Island, has been championed by the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The highway and environmental agencies in both states have joined together to make the concept a reality. Currently, over 10 miles are completed in RI and three miles in MA.

The twenty eight mile, Blackstone River Bikeway in Massachusetts was first given form in 1996 when the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (formerly DEM) published the Conceptual Design and Feasibility Study. Beginning in 1994, under an agreement between the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD) and the Department of Environmental Management (now DCR), Cullinan Engineering Company, Inc., surveyed the potential bikeway route in Massachusetts and developed a preferred alignment. The route was divided into seven segments as indicated in the table below, from Segment 1 beginning at the Massachusetts-Rhode Island State Line to Segment 7 ending at the Worcester City Common. The proposed alignment passes through the Preserve America communities of Blackstone, Millville, Uxbridge, Northbridge, Grafton, Sutton, Millbury, and Worcester.

Project Timeline & Status

  • 1996 – Conceptual Design/Feasibility Study Completed by MHD & DCR
  • 2001 – Blackstone River Bikeway Taskforce created by MHD
  • 2001 – MHD hires consultant for final design of segment 2 in Uxbridge/Millville (this segment is at 25% design, public hearing to be scheduled this summer)
  • 2005 – MHD completes Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF)
  • 2006, June – MHD holds the Grand Opening of 2.5 miles of Bikeway in Worcester/Millbury
  • 2007 – MHD holds a 25% Public Hearing for Segment 2 in Millville/Blackstone
  • 2007 – MHD awarded a design contract for 16 miles of the bikeway in Massachusetts

For information on the current status of the design of the bikeway in Massachusetts go to: www.blackstonebikewayinmass.com

or contact:

Kimberley Sloan
Blackstone River Bikeway Project Manager
Massachusetts Highway Department
10 Park Plaza
Boston, MA 02116
617-973-7495
e-mail us

 
undefined

Summary of Municipal Mileage

Blackstone – 2.0 miles
Millville – 1.5 miles
Uxbridge – 6.5 miles
Northbridge – 5.5 miles
Grafton – 3.0 miles
Sutton – 1.0 mile
Millbury – 3.5 miles
Worcester – 5.5 miles

Funding History

Current cost estimates for completing the remaining bikeway from the Rhode Island state line to the Worcester City Common are in the range of $30 million. In 1998, via TEA-21 legislation, Congress approved approximately $6 million in High Priority Project funding for the bikeway. In 2005, another $5.6 million in High Priority Project funding was secured via the reauthorization of TEA-21. Additional funding that has been utilized or is anticipated to be utilized includes state funds, Congestion, Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) funds and federal Alternative Transportation Funds.

A new advocacy group was formed in Rhode island in the Spring of 2008. The Blackstone River Bikeway Patrol is an all-volunteer program, supported in part through a grant from the National Park Service and the Volunteers-In-Park Program of the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

For information, to join their fun family activities or to get involved with the Rhode Island portion of the bikeway visit www.blackstonebikewaypatrol.org.

Summary of Bikeway Segments*

Segment 1: Blackstone/Millville – Total Length 15,425 ft (4,701 m) (2.92 miles)
Segment 2: Millville/Uxbridge – Total Length 17,427 ft (5,312 m) (3.30 miles)
Segment 3A: Uxbridge/Northbridge – Total Length 29,474 ft (8,983 m) (5.58 miles)
Segment 3B: Northbridge – Total Length 18,528 ft (5,647 m) (3.51 miles)
Segment 4: Northbridge/Grafton – Total length 7,324 ft (2,232 m) (1.39 miles)
Segment 5A: Grafton/Sutton – Total Length 13,807 ft (4,208 m) (2.61 miles)
Segment 5B: Sutton/Millbury – Total Length 10,311 ft (3,142 m) (1.95 miles)
Segment 5C: Millbury – Total Length 7,715 ft (2,351 m)(1.46 miles)
Segment 6(Rt. 146 Project): Millbury/Worcester – Total length 4+ miles (6+ km)
Segment 7N (Northbound): Worcester – Total Length 7,082 ft (2,158 m)(1.34 miles)
Segment 7S (Southbound): Worcester – Total Length 6,710 ft (2,045 m)(1.27 miles)

* Based on Massachusetts Blackstone River Bikeway Conceptual Design and Feasibility Study, Mass. Dept. of Environmental Management and Mass. Highway Department, September 1996

Did You Know?

MillThreadSpool

While best known for the textile industry, the factories of the Blackstone River Valley made hundreds of different products, ranging from barbed wire and monkey wrenches to space suits and Mr. Potato Head.