Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Advisory Committee

BFRT QR Code 2019 (3) Sept 25 (2) Opens in new window

Project Schedule

Phase Map

BFRT Phase 2C - Commonwealth Ave. at MCI-Concord to Powdermill Road culvert

100 % DesignBid/ProposalConstructionCompletion
Summer 2016Fall 2016Spring 2017-2019Spring 2019

BFRT Phase 2B - Bridge over Route 2 connecting Acton (Phase 2A completed Spring 2018) with Concord (Phase 2C completed Spring 2019)

100% DesignBid/ProposalConstructionCompletion
Spring 2019Summer 2019Fall 2019Estimated Fall 2021/Spring 2022

BFRT Phase 2D - Connecting Powdermill Road to Phase 2D in Sudbury (Sudbury/Concord town line)

100% DesignBid/ProposalConstructionCompletion
Spring 2016202120222024

Click here for a birds eye photo of work being done on Powder Mill Road.


  • 7 p.m.
  • Harvey Wheeler Community Center
    Clock Tower Room
    1276 Main Street
    Concord, MA 01742
  • OR VIRTUAL, see agenda

Committee Members

  • Richard Fahlander, Co-Chair
  • Nathaniel Welch, Co-Chair
  • John Soden
  • Carol Steele
  • Jim Lyon

Upcoming Meetings 

  • Nov. 5, 2020 *Virtual meeting
  • Dec. 3, 2020 *Virtual meeting

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval. View most recent Agendas and Minutes.


The original Vision statement for the trail can be found on this website under Historic Reports BFRTAC Initial Vision Statement 2007. The original Vision statement for the trail remains unchanged except for 3 small modifications:
  1. Because the 2008 Town Meeting decided that the trail will be paved, the sentence "we are particularly interested in alternatives to asphalt" should be deleted.
  2. Because other potential trail users may be identified at any time during the trail's design and construction, the phrase "during this phase of the study" should be deleted.
  3. The term "non-motorized" in the first line of the original statement shall not be interpreted to exclude motorized wheelchairs or other motorized devices required by persons with mobility impairments to use and enjoy the trail.


The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Select Board and Town Manager on matters concerning the design, development, and long-term maintenance of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT).

The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is a proposed 25-mile shared-use path between Lowell and Framingham along the former right-of-way of the Old Colony Rail Road, 3.5 miles of which is located in Concord. The shared-use path is in various stages of development along the project corridor. A feasibility study entitled "Environmental and Engineering Assessment Report - Concord Section" was prepared on behalf of the Town in August of 2005 using funds donated by the Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail and supporters within the community. The Assessment Report concludes that it would be feasible to convert the former railroad corridor into a rail trail. The report also identified physical, financial, and political challenges that must be addressed in order to successfully develop and maintain the Rail Trail.

Rail trails have been developed across the country to serve a variety of purposes, including: promoting alternative transportation, recreation, energy conservation, clean air, and enhancement of a community's quality-of-life. The Selectmen support these objectives. However, in developing a rail trail, it will be important to address concerns regarding environmental constraints, abutter impacts, public safety, financing and on-going maintenance and up-keep requirements, among other issues.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • To review and consider the data, analysis and recommendations contained in the August 2005 Assessment Report;
  • To make recommendations to the Town Manager and Select Board concerning the steps to be followed toward the design, planning, and development of the rail trail, including identifying any issues, concerns and constraints that are likely to arise during the design, permitting and construction phase.
  • To solicit public input concerning the development of the BFRT, including the holding of at least one public hearing, widely advertised throughout the community;
  • To solicit from the Town's engineering and public safety staff input concerning traffic and safety issues involving the BFRT, particularly in areas where the rail trail intersects with existing roadways and railroad crossings;
  • To make recommendations to the Town Manager concerning the use of staff, outside consultants and the allocation of resources toward the development of the Rail Trail;
  • To consider the financial impacts of the project and to devise strategies for securing substantial state or federal government assistance for the development of the Rail Trail;
  • To consult with relevant Town boards and committees concerning strategies for the development and maintenance of the Rail Trail;
  • To make recommendations concerning:
    • Permitting and Design
    • Construction
    • Financing
    • Annual Operating Cost, including trash removal, repairs, resurfacing, seasonal operation, and related financial considerations
    • Other related matters
  • To meet regularly and annually elect a chair and clerk.
  • To communicate with local officials and BFRT proponents in the Towns of Sudbury and Acton, with the objective of coordinating Concord's efforts with those occurring in neighboring towns;
  • To submit a draft report of its findings to the Select Board, and after making any necessary revisions, to submit a Final Report to the Select Board.

Other Considerations

The Committee is responsible for conducting its activities in a manner which is in compliance with all relevant State and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to, the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law and Conflict of Interest Law. The Committee shall consult with the Town Manager concerning the allocation of town staff or financial resources toward this project.