WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bicyclists now have a safer ride through downtown Westfield and beyond.

After a couple of bumps in the road, a new section of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail is now open. The final section was supposed to open in June, but that was postponed. The opening was celebrated with a ribbon cutting on Thursday.

It is an extension from Main Street Bridge to the Westfield River. And an 81 mile-stretch takes you from the Westfield River to New Haven, Connecticut.

The more than $7 million section is a low-level trail with exit ramps that will let people bike to 21 different restaurants and businesses. “Just makes the town more biker friendly and you know more transportation friendly community,” said John Tassinari, Treasurer of the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail.

“You’re pulling them off the roads, you’re not in the traffic, you not putting bikes on the road, you’re not mixing cars and bikes, and they in a safe position,” added Robert Hamel, board member and member at large for the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail.

The opening of the central downtown section faced a delay due to the required lifting of the Elm Street Bridge.

Local News

Kayleigh Thomas is a digital reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kayleigh on Twitter @kayleighcthomas and view her bio to see more of her work.