Mason, Houghton St. footpath to be repaired after almost two years

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By Justin Roshak, Contributing Writer

Barricades keep pedestrians away from a footpath between Mason and Houghton Streets that had washed away in 2019 causing it to cave in and fall into the Assabet River. The town is looking to repair it and reopen the trail to foot traffic.
Barricades keep pedestrians away from a footpath between Mason and Houghton Streets that had washed out in 2019 causing a section to cave in and fall into the Assabet River. The town is looking to repair it and reopen the trail to foot traffic.
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

HUDSON – The town is pursuing potential repairs to a footpath between Mason and Houghton Streets that washed out in early 2019, town officials during a July 26 Select Board meeting.

The seven-foot wide footpath, is a town right-of-way that takes pedestrians underneath the trestle bridge along the Assabet River. The land was acquired by the Town of Hudson sometime in the 1890’s, according to Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory. 

The walkway washed out in late 2019, however, causing a section between eight and ten feet wide to cave in and fall into the Assabet River. Since then, the path has been barricaded at both ends. Gregory described the cavity as “a hazard.”  

Now, the town is looking to rebuild the damaged section and reopen the trail to foot traffic.  

“The use of the path won’t change,” Gregory told the Community Advocate. 

He did not yet have estimates of the cost of repairs, but said he planned to hold a meeting with the Department of Public Works on July 30. 

“I’ve had a lot of different contact with the neighbors from both sides of the walkway,” said Select Board member James Quinn at the board’s July 26 meeting. “We have young families living up at the top of Mason Street. They would like to be able to walk to the splash park with their kids and walk downtown.”

Quinn and Department of Public Works Director Eric Ryder visited the site on July 23 and planned another visit for July 30. Quinn said during the meeting that work could begin soon, if the river cooperates. 

“Hopefully if the water goes down, we might have a chance to get going on this,” he said. “We’re working on it now.”