State and local officials celebrated the completion of the Alewife Greenway Bike Path Thursday on the Arlington/Somerville line. Pictured from left to right are state Sen. William Brownsberger; Arlington Selectman Joe Curro; Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine; Edward Lambert, the commissioner of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation; Somerville Alderman Bob Trane; Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone; Jeffrey Simon, the director of the state Recovery and Reinvestment Office; and Richard Sullivan, the Secretary of the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Photo by Brock Parker.
After three years of work, state and local officials Thursday celebrated the completion of the Alewife Greenway Bike Path project linking two of Greater Boston’s most prominent pedestrian and bike corridors.
The Greenway stretches 2.5 miles through Somerville, Arlington and Cambridge to connect the Minuteman Bikeway and the Mystic River Reservations.
The project was funded by a $3.6 million grant from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and in addition to encouraging the use of alternative forms of transportation, the construction also provided work for 49 people, according to state officials.
“For anyone anywhere who might ask where did stimulus funding go, it went to projects like this that really do make a difference,” said Edward Lambert Jr., the commissioner of the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Lambert joined other state and local officials Thursday on the Arlington/Somerville line for a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the completed project.
While the idea for the Greenway connection is more than a decade old, construction began about three years ago and finished this week, said Dan Driscoll, director of recreation facilities planning for the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The Greenway is part of the larger Alewife Brook Reservation and the project included the development of two new accessible public paths that are compliant with the American with Disabilities Act. The project also included the ecological restoration of sections of the Alewife Brook and created pedestrian safety crossings at two major intersections.
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said that projects like the Alewife Greenway completed with the help of the state have helped his city become one of the most cyclist and pedestrian friendly in the country.
“It’s about creating economic opportunity, it’s about improving our environment and our overall health and social well being,” Curtatone said.