By Laura Hayes, Contributing Writer
HUDSON – Crews were busy pouring concrete for the new paths to the South Street Riverwalk at Cellucci Park off Houghton Street April 14.
Visitors to Hudson’s South Street Riverwalk may have indeed noticed recent improvements to the path. It’s part of the town’s work to make the Riverwalk more accessible and to open up views of the Assabet River.
Back in February, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced that Hudson was awarded a grant through the Shared Winter Streets and Spaces Program.
At that time, the state sent a total of $3.2 million to 21 municipalities, including Hudson, which received $285,746.49.
Pam Helinek, Hudson’s Acting Assistant Director of Planning and Community Development and Conservation Agent, recently said the town is excited about the grant and its improvements.
Current paths end at a short bridge over Tannery Brook, which feeds into the Assabet River.
“There’s no paved connection that connects up to any street or parking area,” Helinek said.
Now, with new work, there will be two new accessible paths on the other side of the bridge. According to Helinek, one of the paths will attach to the nearby gazebo and connect to the Houghton Street parking lot. The other path will run along the fence that borders the brook.
Applying for this grant, Hudson proposed a number of other upgrades to the Riverwalk, including steps to bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as adding lights and amenities such as benches, picnic tables and educational signs among other things.
Additionally, there will now be a new set of stone steps down to the Assabet. Helinek said people had been walking down to the river in the past which led to erosion.
With work underway, Helinek said the town has additional grant money and will now also be removing growth of invasive plants along the river’s edge to then replace them with native plants.
“It will really open up views of the river,” she said.
Terms of MassDOT funding dictate that this project should be complete by May 31.