Tuesday, August 18, 2015 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today highlighted the extensive improvements the City’s Department of Public Works has been making to Boston’s iconic Freedom Trail in over 60 locations from Boston Common to Bunker Hill. The planned project includes replacing all sections of sidewalk under City jurisdiction in need of repair and upgrading 30 pedestrian ramps to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“Boston’s Freedom Trail is an important landmark for our city and region,” said Mayor Walsh. “These exciting improvement projects will make the Freedom Trail accessible and will help guide residents and tourists to Boston’s popular historic treasures year in and year out.”
Starting this summer and into the fall, the Public Works Department will install approximately 1,400 feet of new walking surface – nearly 8 percent of the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail. Sections of Hull Street and Hanover Street in the North End have already been replaced and more sidewalk replacements are underway, and the total project will cost $700,000.
This maintenance work is in addition to the City’s Connect Historic Boston project, which will fully reconstruct Joy Street, Commercial Street, Blackstone Block and Constitution Road. Connect Historic Boston is funded, in part, through the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program and is a result of a partnership between the City of Boston, the Federal Highway Administration and the National Parks Service to improve non-vehicular access to historic sites in the City. Over the course of the next two years, the $29 million project, managed by the Public Works Department, will add another 1,800 feet of new construction to the Freedom Trail.
“With over four million people enjoying the Freedom Trail and our great city’s historic sites annually, the City of Boston’s improvement efforts are commendable,” said Freedom Trail Foundation Executive Director Suzanne Taylor. “The Department of Public Works’ projects and hard work will help residents and visitors navigate the Freedom Trail to experience each of the Trail’s 16 sites year-round.”
Last year, the City replaced nearly 2,000 feet of the painted sections of the historic Freedom Trail in Charlestown, Downtown Crossing and the North End with a new thermoplastic treatment. The multi-colored strips have helped to eliminate time consuming, seasonal painting, reducing maintenance costs and improving historic site way-finding, and are expected to last up to eight years.
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile path that traces through Downtown Boston, the North End and Charlestown leading to 16 nationally significant sites. The Trail includes a variety of historic sites, including museums, meeting houses, churches, a ship, historic markers, parks and burying grounds, all telling the story of the American Revolution.