AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The town of Amherst has been awarded a $755,000 grant to work in the East Amherst Village Center, improving accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. This will be upgraded under the State’s MassWorks Infrastructure Program.

The sidewalks and bike lane stretching south from the village center along Belchertown Road are decades old. Since they were installed the area has thrived, adding a number of affordable housing units and businesses. Now, funding from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development will help bring people living there closer to businesses and each other.

“Were excited to improve some of the pedestrian and bicycle and other transportation routes,” said Amherst Town Manager Dave Ziomek. “Really were talking about quality of life for people who live in the village center who commute through the village center.”

The new sidewalks and bike paths will extend from South East Street in the village center, down to Gatehouse Road.

Dave added that they are still finalizing designs for the project but if all goes according to plan, work could begin in the summer or fall of 2023 and stretch into 2024.