Braintree has been awarded a grant from the National Park Service to help with the planning and construction of a three-mile river walk along the Monatiquot River
The federal agency received strong support about the project from the community, and told Braintree officials that the numerous letters they obtained detailing the desire for the picturesque, meandering pathway was a major reason the Braintree project was selected.
“The park service did say it was an usual application because of the outpouring of public support that went in with our application or went directly to the park service,” said Planning Director Christine Stickney, who has been at the forefront of the project for the town.
Stickney said she will sit down with Park Service staff on Friday to discuss next steps, including what grants are available to fund the project, what permits need to be obtained to do construction so close to the water, and a potential timeline.
“It’s a kick off meeting to understand what they will provide us, what we will provide for them, and set a schedule for the whole scope of work,” Stickney said.
At this time, the project cost is still unknown.
The river walk would go from the existing path that runs along Edgehill Road on the waterfront and connect to a proposed path at Watson Park. The trail would continue along the water until reaching the Yacht Club, where it would tilt up to Gordon Road, down Quincy Ave, and back along the waterfront again.
It would turn currently faded patches in the grass to a winding walk through the woods and along the beaches, with an actual paved trail. Signage would be added along the route.
Although there is still much work to be done on the project, Stickney said the town wouldn’t be where they are at now if it weren’t for Gamble and Associates.
The Boston design firm was a party of the non-profit Community Design Resource Center – Boston, who was initially contacted to delve into community desire for the Braintree Electric Light Department’s Allen Street site.
There was such excitement about a potential river walk along that 1.6-acre stretch of river that Gamble took their commitment to the project a step further.
“They did all pro bono services to help the town, as we didn’t have those resources. He put a vision on paper of what we were thinking about,” Stickney said.
Although the vision most likely won’t be implemented by the spring, Stickney said that the technical assistance grant is a good first step, and thanked the community for supporting the project.
The Planning and Community Development Office will be posting updates on the progress of the “Monatiquot Riverwalk” through the Town’s website.