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What Happened to the Bruce Freman Rail Trail Parking Lot in Acton?

Welcome to the latest "You Asked, Patch Answers", our weekly column where we answer questions from you, the readers of Westford Patch. To ask us a question, e-mail us at westford@patch.com

The clear consensus from town leaders after the large meeting in August to determine a solution for parking along the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail was trying to put a parking lot in Acton.

But one Westford Patch reader asked us whatever happened to that parking lot....We have the answer.

Originally, the town hoped for a MassWorks grant in December to help fund the parking lot project, building it ahead of the scheduled expansion of the trail into Acton. However, the project ultimately was not chosen.

So, is the parking lot in Acton idea dead? Not exactly. The funding issue can be resolved through the Iron Horse Preservation Group, a non-profit organization that removes old railroad ties from proposed rail trails and then sells them for money to build the trails themselves.

Iron Horse has offered to aid in the project and extend the trail to the proposed parking lot site a few hundred feet from the Westford/Carlisle/Acton border, but the major hurdle in removing those rail ties now lies with jurisdictional issues with several state agencies such as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection that have legal oversight related to the old railroad tracks themselves.

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