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Video: Take A Ride Along Westfield’s New Columbia Greenway Downtown Extension

A green truss bridge spans a wide five-lane roadway with two leafy trees on either side on a clear sunny day. A sign along the top railing of the bridge says "CITY OF WESTFIELD" while a smaller sign on the bottom reads "Columbia Greenway". In between the two signs is a round city seal in the center of the bridge.

The Columbia Greenway bridge over Main Street in downtown Westfield.

After many delays, a crowd of state and local officials joined advocates in downtown Westfield yesterday to celebrate the opening of the new downtown extension of the Columbia Greenway.

The newly-opened trail segment extends the Columbia Greenway through downtown Westfield to the city's riverfront esplanade, along the top of an abandoned railway embankment that carries the trail over several downtown streets.

The project extended an existing segment of the Columbia Greenway that previously ran 8.5 miles from Westfield’s Main Street to the Connecticut border, and from there, continued across the entire Nutmeg State to New Haven along the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.

For now, Westfield's Columbia Greenway ends on the north bank of the Westfield River; beyond that, the rail corridor is still active with freight traffic.

The city is currently studying options to extend the trail through the northern part of Westfield, while the neighboring town of Southampton recently purchased its section of the rail line for a future trail project.

MassDOT is also planning a reconstruction of Southampton Street/Route 10, and the state's design plans include a new 2.9-mile shared-use pathway along the western edge of the the state highway between the Massachusetts Turnpike and North Road.

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