Mattapoisett presents on Industrial Park, bike path project

Mar 19, 2020

MATTAPOISETT — With physical meetings no longer an option, town officials turned to a streamed video released on March 18 to give residents information on a two part project that would extend municipal sewer to Industrial Park, improve pavement, drainage and add a bike and pedestrian path nearby. 

One of the main goals of the project, which began two years ago, is to bring municipal sewer to the Industrial Park, which is currently on individual septic systems. 

The town would extend its sewer line, with businesses completing it and making connections. With sewer connections, properties “become more valuable, more usable, and you do not have to have a reserved area,”  This allows the town to expand without additional clearing.  

“We also found that the roadway and the surface of the roadway was quite old and in need of being refurbished and redone. The old drainage, not the most environmentally sensitive,” Former Town Administrator Michael Gagne, who handled initial project planning and returned to present it, said. 

The final phase will be the development of a shared-use path that would bring riders safely across North Street and meet up with Marion. 

A bike path from Fairhaven to Wareham has been in the works for years. With the ends of the path done, organizers are working on several smaller legs in Marion and Mattapoisett.  Organizers are currently constructing phase 1B from Fairhaven up to Depot St. 

Mattapoisett organizers worked with TEC engineering from the metro-Boston area to develop a total of seven sections for the project. 

The town has a first funding grant for the project of $735,000, which requires a matching contribution from the Mattapoisett budget (already allocated at Town Meeting) for a total cost of $1.13 million  Organizers are working hard to score another grant for the $1.85 million shared use path. Marion’s portion of the path is funded much the same way.  

Section one of the project would install flashing lights and a crossroads to cross from the Park and Ride to the Industrial Park.  

“We know the traffic on North St. is heavy,” Gagne said, “and we want [users] to be able to cross.” 

The path would initially be separated from the roadway where North Street intersects with Industrial Drive. This phase would also involve a complete overlay of industrial drive with new striping. 

In section two, a ten foot wide paved bike and walking path would be separated from the road by guard rails and a fence. 

Gagne said the area that was an old landfill in the Tinkham Hill area  may be parking in the future. 

The path will pass Mahoney’s, with engineers taking pains to accommodate traffic there, and continue on the South side.

There would be a second crosswalk at Boat Neck Road because the town has “some good area to work with on the North Side there,” Gagne said.  

Gagne and others were also working on a landscape and beautification plan to preserve trees or put trees back so that the path has some natural shading on it. 

The path would then go to the service entrance to the Bay Club

“We’re looking very seriously to do some off street parking down there,” Gagne said, adding “We think folks would enjoy [travelling] sections of the shared use path.”

However the group must work on its design to consider the people who are coming out of the Bay Club. 

The path will also be near a centralized sewer facility, and require occasional service to utilities. 

One of the trail’s main benefits is it has “enough separation from Route 195 that I think makes it rather tranquil and peaceful to go out there,” Gagne said.  

He said that with better drainage, Tub Mill Brook and Eel Pond could become good quality resource area for shellfishing, waterfowl

The project will be going to the conservation commission very shortly, with Gagne adding that the town hopes to be working this summer. 

The presentation can be viewed on the town’s website. Though there was no option to comment on it, residents can visit the town webpage and use the “ask the Town Administrator” section or call the Selectman’s office to comment or ask questions.