Bradford Rail Trail Extension Underway

Less than a year after the Bradford Rail Trail officially opened to the public, an extension is already taking shape.

Haverhill’s public works department is in the process of laying dirt and asphalt on top of old Pan Am railroad tracks to extend the trail’s path on the Bradford side of the Merrimack River to the Crescent Yacht Club on Ferry Street. The new five-foot wide portion of the trail will pass under the Basiliere Bridge along the river to the yacht club’s driveway. The trail’s current end point is behind the Bradford Dunkin’ Donuts.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said additional cosmetic enhancements are being planned along the trail, including the removal of graffiti and the installation of solar lights under the bridge. Fiorentini also expects to tap into $1 million in state funding over the next two years for paving and landscaping upgrades.

“Our big-picture plan is to eventually connect the Bradford side of the rail trail to a boardwalk on the bustling downtown side of the river, looping the river on both sides before heading toward the yacht club and later east to Groveland,” Fiorentini said this week.

Named in honor of Fiorentini, Haverhill’s longest-serving mayor, the rail trail currently runs for a half-mile along the Bradford side of the Merrimack River. It officially opened in June 2017 and features local artwork and a walking path.