Lowell Receives $1 Million for Riverwalk Expansion, Canalway Improvements

Press Release

Date: Aug. 18, 2011
Location: Lowell, MA
Issues: Infrastructure

The City of Lowell has received a $1,000,000 grant from the Department of Transportation for the expansion of the Riverwalk and for improvements to the downtown Canalway. The federal funding will be used for the development of the "Mile of Mills" Riverwalk along Bridge Street which will increase pedestrian traffic, while supporting the City's long term vision for the Riverwalk. The grant will also help to fund structural improvements and beatification efforts along the Canalway.

"This federal award is excellent news for Lowell and will enable the continued expansion of the Riverwalk and Canalway which have proven to be significant assets to downtown Lowell and Lowell National Historical Park," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "The Riverwalk attracts visitors to scenic sections of the Merrimack River while providing unique insights into Lowell's industrial heritage and it is an excellent example federal, state, and local partners working cooperatively."

The Canalway/Riverwalk project involves development of the "Mile of Mills' Riverwalk from its current terminus at the historic Boott Mills complex to the Concord River and Lower Locks area and development of the Lowell Canalway, a linear park and walkway along Lowell's 5.6 mile historic power canal system.

The Canalway/Riverwalk will provide connections to historic and cultural resources located within the Lowell National Historical Park. The Riverwalk design includes a linear walkway constructed above the city's sewer interceptor, linking several access points and rest nodes. The Canalway project will involve development of a pedestrian walkway along the canal edge with provisions for handicapped accessibility at street crossings, replacement of iron picket fence with code compliant canal railing, and general landscape and site improvements. Scenic overlooks will also be developed to provide visual access to significant natural and cultural features along the system. Construction of the extension is expected to begin next summer.