Nearly a decade after state Rep. Kay Khan set out to restore a dangerous and unused bridge connecting Newton to Wellesley, officials cut the ribbon on the newly reconstructed Trestle Bridge.
“All I can say is wow, what a day, what an accomplishment,” said Khan, a Lower Falls resident, at the ceremony Tuesday. “It has been a great community effort.”
The funding for the renovation of the former rail bridge spanning the Charles River came from Gov. Deval Patrick’s 2008 accelerated bridge program and the project was overseen by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The push to remodel the bridge, which has been unused and decrepit for nearly 40 years, faced stiff opposition from Lower Falls residents whose homes border the bridge and who claimed it would lead to a bike trail through the neighborhood.
“We were astonished at the outpouring of rage from a small number of abutters,” said Alderman Deborah Crossley, who was on the Newton League of Women Voters—one of the local groups involved in the project—at the time the project was being discussed.
Public officials and community members from both Wellesley and Newton came out for the ceremonial ribbon cutting Tuesday.
The project went through seven years of meetings and public hearings before the Newton Conservation Commission finally approved the design in May 2010, Khan said. Reconstruction of the bridge began in late fall 2010 and was completed in May 2011.
I love stories like this, heres how they go:
1. Someone thinks “Hey we should turn that old, whatever, into a bike/walking trail!”
2. Great idea!
3. Rich people: “Hells no, crime, murder, the sky is falling!”
4. Ten years later: Trail is built
5. Rich people: “The SKY IS FALLING!!”
6. Five years later: trail needs repair Rich People: “Don’t you dare even think about not rebuilding our trail, its a cherished part of our neighborhood!”
7. Something thinks “hey would should extend that trail!”
8. Rich people “Hells no, crime, murder, the sky is falling!”
This happens over and over and over. Trails is proposed, people freak out, trail is finally built after years of silly struggle, people love the trail, everyones property values go up. I honestly can’t think of a single example where building more pedestrian and cyclist trail infrastructure lead to the kind of sky is falling results people who are against these things spout. Congrats on the new bridge everyone, a hard fought battle won. On to the next one!
Tags: bike bridge, newton, nimby, wellesley
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