Contact: Richard Walsh or Matthew Brelis
Walk This Way Massport and Bedford Town Officials Open Trail System Connecting Bedford to Concord
BEDFORD, MA -- The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today joined officials from the Town of Bedford to officially open a two-mile-long trail system located on 42.5 acres of property at L.G. Hanscom Field. While providing civic benefits to the public that can now walk from town-owned conservation land in Bedford to Virginia Road in Concord, a primary benefit of the trail system to Massport is to accommodate emergency access to remote areas of the airport.
“We’re happy to join with the Bedford Board of Selectmen, Conservation Commission and the Bedford Trails Committee to open trails linking Concord and Bedford,” said Hanscom Airport Director Barbara Patzner. “We appreciate everyone’s hard work to identify a program that served the dual purpose of preserving public safety while identifying a public amenity that benefits our neighboring communities.”
Massport granted the interim use of airport property for public paths in connection with the Town of Bedford grant of access to, and the management of vegetation from within, the Jordan Conservation Area. The vegetation presented a hazard to aviation. In February 2010, Massport, the Bedford Board of Selectmen and the Bedford Conservation Commission signed a Memorandum of Agreement permitting Massport to access the Jordan Conservation Area for removal of similar hazards, subject to the Conservation Commission’s removal plan review.
“Bedford is thrilled to add these opportunities to the town wide inventory of trails. The new additions will provide access not only to new ecosystems but also neighboring towns' trail networks,” said Bedford Selectman Michael Rosenberg. “It also has been most gratifying to see how various arms of government worked together -- for many years -- to reach this happy outcome.”
The Hanscom Field trail system can be accessed from Concord Road or Hartwell Road via the east-west railroad bed (proposed bikeway extension), and over trails through the Dellovo Conservation Area and adjoining municipal property, or the Mary Putnam Webber Wildlife Preserve and the Vanderhoof Conservation Area.
“Today’s opening is an exciting day for the Bedford Trails Committee and the residents of Bedford. It represents the culmination of years of hope, study, negotiation and planning for the connection of trails in Bedford west to historic Concord and the National Park Bike Trail,” said Art Smith, Chairman of the Bedford Trails Committee. “These trails in Bedford joining the Minuteman Bike Way to the East and the National Park Trail to the Southwest nearly complete a circumferential pedestrian corridor around Hanscom Field. These efforts have enhanced and will continue to build on a positive relationship between the people of Bedford and Hanscom Field.”
Massport’s primary goal as operator of three airports is, to ensure the safety and security of the users of its airports. In June 2010, Massport purchased approximately five acres of land in Bedford for $411,000.00 to preserve the long-term aviation compatible land-use near the end of runway 11. The property, located at 350A Concord Road, abuts Hanscom Field and a portion of the parcel lies underneath the transitional airspace surface intended to protect aircraft arriving and departing runway 11/29.
Massport receives no state tax funding and is governed by a seven member Board. Six of the members are appointed to staggered seven-year terms by the Governor of Massachusetts, and the Secretary of Transportation serves as an ex officio member. Hanscom Field is home to the largest number of based aircraft in New England, including 261 single-engine aircraft, 38 multi-engine aircraft and 77 jet aircraft. Located in Bedford MA., Hanscom Field is a vital link to domestic and international business destinations for local and regional employers. With its modern facilities, Hanscom is New England’s premier full-service corporate and general aviation airport, contributing more than $180 million to the regional economy each year.
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) operates Boston Logan International Airport, the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England.