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Berkshires Gets $600K in Bike Path Grants
01:26PM / Tuesday, July 02, 2024
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MassTrail grant recipients at the award presentation in Holliston.

ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshires received more than $600,000 for improvements and planning of recreational trails. 
The funds are part of some $12 million in awards announced recently for 65 projects across the state by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation's MassTrails program.
"At DCR, we witness firsthand how trails connect communities across Massachusetts, providing essential opportunities for outdoor recreation, tourism, and economic growth," said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo in announcing the grants in Holliston on June 21. "Expanding and maintaining this extensive network is pivotal in improving accessibility and promoting healthier, more vibrant communities statewide. This grant program underscores our dedication to shared stewardship with our municipal partners, fostering collaboration and ensuring sustainable trail management for the benefit of all."
MassTrail awards range from $100,000 to $500,000 depending on the project type and needs, with shared-use paths commanding higher amounts if they demonstrate critical network connections of regional or statewide significance. The matching grants require a minimum 20 percent match and are awarded by reimbursement.
The town of Adams received the highest amount awarded in the Berkshires: $222,000 to acquire easements for a trailhead on Lime Street. The proposed trailhead will enhance access to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail extension southward that's scheduled for construction in 2028. The town received a $75,000 grant in 2022 for design and engineering. The match for the grant is $73,000.
Plans to bring the rail trail 1.8 miles from Lime Street to Hodges Cross Road in North Adams has been in design since 2012. Notice to proceed on the $9.5 million project was issued in 2019 and it's scheduled to be funded in the 2028 Transportation Improvement Plan. Some $7.7 million of the project will be funded through the federal government. 
Eventually, the rail trail will connect in downtown North Adams with a bike path running east from Williamstown. This project is a collaboration of the city and town, the Clark Art Institute, Williams College and its art museum, and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art as the Northern Berkshire Trail Connectivity Development, which received an $82,400 ($20,600 in matching funds) for planning and a pre-acquisition study for cultural, outdoor recreation, and community connectivity.
The 2.4-mile Mohican Recreational Path in Williamstown that ends now near Galvin Road in North Adams will continue east as the North Adams Adventure Trail. The 3.4-mile trail will connect the communities and museum and colleges and run partially through the Tourists resort. Plans by the resort to redevelop the Blackinton Mill includes space and access for the trail; on the other end, Mass MoCA's renovation of Building 6 included a path through the museum and proposes a bridge over the Hoosic River flood control chutes to provide access. 
The estimated cost of the project is $36 million and it is currently in the preliminary design phase. 
Other awards: 
Lee Bike Trail Project: $120,000 for design completion of a trail to follow the Housatonic River from West Park Street to Big Y Supermarket at the intersection of Routes 20 and 102. The project will consist of paved trails and boardwalk.
• Savoy Kanary Kats Snowmobile Club: $58,420 for annual preventative maintenance of trails in Savoy, Windsor and Hawley. This includes two snowmobile trail groomers, an off-road trail vehicle, and  trail groomer drags, batteries, and a saw.
• The state Department of Conservation and Recreation: $47,500 for two all-terrain vehicles and trailer for use in maintaining the motorized trail system throughout Beartown State Forest and its satellite properties in Great Barrington, Lee and Monterey.
• The Berkshire Snow Seekers: $79,875 for the transportation, overhaul and refurbishment by Track Inc. of Newport, Vt., of a 1994 Tucker 1000 SnoCat used at October Mountain State Forest for trail maintenance and purchase replacement hydraulic brakes for the club's 1994 LMC 1800 Sno-Cat used at Pittsfield State Forest.
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