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LYNN — An underutilized section of the city will soon become a recreational hub for cyclists and walkers.
The Northern Strand Community Trail is a state-funded, roughly $15 million construction project linking the communities of Everett, Malden, Revere and Saugus, and eventually through Lynn to Nahant Beach. According to Bike to the Sea, a group that is facilitating the project in collaboration with the Community Path of Lynn, and state and local officials, the trail will offer a continuous roughly 11-mile-long recreational path once complete.
According to Fred Hogan, city councilor for Ward 6, in which the Community Path of Lynn along the former Saugus railroad rail bed is being converted into a stretch of the Northern Strand Community Trail, the project should be largely finished this year, with construction continuing through the summer and only “amenities,” such as landscaping, to be added for cyclists later.
“Demolition is done and the area is cleaned,” Hogan said. “They’ve laid all the rock down, and are preparing to lay the asphalt. The whole thing is moving along.”
The Lynn leg of the Northern Strand Community Trail will begin at the Community Path of Lynn, by Riverside II, 826 Boston St. in West Lynn, until that trail ends at Spencer Street by Market Basket. Then, the trail will continue via a street route to the ocean by way of South Common Street and Market Street.
The construction contract for the project was awarded to R. Zoppo Corporation through a public bidding process, and started in earnest this past spring, with construction on the trail being deemed “essential” and allowed to commence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hogan said he has received feedback from constituents who are excited the area will be “cleaned up” and transformed, rather than an underutilized space with lots of trash and debris.
“It’s very powerful to have this in Lynn,” Hogan said. “Residents are very happy it will be cleaned up now. It will look amazing.”
The project includes, in addition to construction of the physical path, safer crossings and landscaping improvements.
The project has been a vision of Bike to the Sea since 1993. According to City Councilor Brian LaPierre, “that area has been long beleaguered,” and the trail represents a positive addition to Lynn.
Mayor Thomas McGee has also called the Northern Strand Community Trail a “collaborative” project that will result in a “family-friendly recreational path” connecting the beaches of Revere, Lynn, and Nahant.
For more information and updates, visit www.biketothesea.org.