Riverwalk trail could wind through Acushnet and Fairhaven

By Peggy Aulisio, Editor

FAIRHAVEN — A proposal for a Riverwalk walking and biking trail being planned by the City of New Bedford calls for extending it to the opposite side of the Acushnet River along the banks of the water in Acushnet and Fairhaven.

Selectmen from Fairhaven and Acushnet were invited to a meeting with Mayor Scott Lang of New Bedford last week to hear about the proposal. The planners, including David Kennedy of the City of New Bedford, sought their support for the proposal, according to Fairhaven selectmen who attended the meeting.

Selectman Brian K. Bowcock praised the mayor and his staff for looking “at the Acushnet River as an area where we can have recreation.”

He called it “a new way” of taking advantage of the waterfront like Providence and other communities where, “The river is used as a major tourist area and attraction.”
He cited other ideas the mayor’s office is pursuing to attract more rowing and sailing in the Acushnet River, which has been undergoing a major Super Fund cleanup for many years.

“It’s a recreational area that’s not utilized,” Mr. Bowcock said. In the future, he said, Fairhaven High School might even take advantage of the river by forming a sailing team.

Executive Secretary Jeffrey W. Osuch said they talked about having the Riverwalk cross the river near Coggeshall Street or the area where the new Market Basket is being built. He said it would travel north along the sites of old mills to Acushnet.
Mr. Osuch said another crossing, perhaps via a bridge, might be built near the Century House.

The proposal is still in the planning stage, however. Selectmen were given a map with earlier plans that did not include the extension. They said the Mayor’s Office wanted to receive their input first before proceeding.

Selectmen decided to send a letter to the Mayor’s Office and the Board of Selectmen in Acushnet to express their support for the Riverwalk extension through Fairhaven.

July 29, 2010 1:05 PM

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