Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Sudbury Information

The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) will be a 25-mile rail trail between Lowell and Framingham, along the former Lowell Secondary Track right-of-way of the Old Colony Railroad (Full BFRT Corridor Map and Status). In Sudbury, the rail corridor extends though the center of Town, approximately 4.4 miles from South Sudbury near Route 20, north to the Sudbury/Concord Town line (Sudbury BFRT Project in Design Map). The Town is in the process of designing the trail, which will be constructed with State and Federal support.

The project is on the 2021-2025 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) of the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) committing construction funding during Federal Fiscal Year 2022.

The 25% Design has been approved by MassDOT.  Approved plans are found in the links below. MassDOT held a virtual Design Public Hearing and accepted comments for the Public Hearing proceedings from July 16-30, 2020.  


Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Advisory Task Force
Please see the BFRT Advisory Task Force webpage for information on the Task Force.

Email Notification
If you are interested in receiving project updates about the Sudbury BFRT, please sign up for email notification. 


Design Schedule and Updates

Project Schedule

Latest Select Board Project Management Report
KPI Update
Fuss & O’Neill, Design Consultant Monthly Reports
Monthly Reports 2020: November December
Monthly Reports 2021:  January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August

75% Design Submission, May 12, 2021

75% Plan Set – First part

75% Plan Set – Second part

Preliminary Concepts for 75% Design

Presentation to the Select Board of the BFRT Advisory Task Force 75% Design Recommendations, March 16, 2021 – Board Approved Concepts and Recommendations
Presentation to the BFRT Advisory Task Force, March 9, 2021
Presentation to the BFRT Advisory Task Force, February 23, 2021
Preliminary Concept 1 Broadacres Farm Parking, Connection, and Amenities
Preliminary Concept 2 Broadacres Farm Parking, Connection, and Amenities
Draft Plan North Road, Davis Field & Hudson Road, Parkinsons Field Connections
Draft Signalized Intersection Plan Hudson and Peakham Roads
Draft Concept Wayfinding and Pavement Markings
Proposed Intersection Mass Central Rail Trail (Extracted from DCR Permit Plans)

Town of Sudbury Acquires CSX Corridor to Advance Open Space and Trail Connectivity Goals

December 17, 2020: The Town of Sudbury has closed on a deal to acquire the 1.4-mile CSX rail corridor in south Sudbury, ensuring the Town’s control of the corridor use and the possible expansion of the regional Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) system.

For more details, please see the CSX Corridor Acquisition Press Release.


Survey Activity in the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Corridor

November 23, 2020: Over the course of the next couple weeks, residents may notice survey crews walking the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) corridor, gathering supplemental information for the right of way and wetlands. The corridor runs from the Concord Town line to Station Road off of Union Avenue. Survey work will also be conducted near the rail corridor on Broadacres Farm at 82 Morse Road. The crew members are affiliated with Fuss & O’Neill, who has been contracted by the Town to complete the final BFRT design, and their survey subconsultants at GCG Associates.

We ask that residents do not remove any flags or markers placed in the wetlands or within corridor along property lines so that all data can be collected.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the Planning and Community Development office at 978‐639‐3387 or email [email protected].

Fuss & O’Neill onboard as Design Consultant for the the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Project

Fuss & O’Neill (F&O) was selected as the design engineering consultant to complete the final design of the BFRT from the Concord Town line to Station Road off Union Avenue.  The Board of Selectmen approved the contract on November 4, 2020 and the contract notice to proceed was issued on November 6. Fuss & O’Neill will complete the final design and permitting of the BFRT, Phase 2D, from the Concord Town line to Station Road off Union Avenue. The final design will expand on the 25% designed finalized by VHB and Jacobs in 2019. The project includes final design for the path, bridges of Hop and Pantry Brooks, parking, connector paths, landscaping, environmental permitting and mitigation, and numerous opportunities for public engagement. The Fuss & O’Neill team will work closely with the Town and MassDOT to complete the trail design and permitting process which will conclude with a MassDOT construction contract in 2022. The final design of the half mile section of the BFRT in Concord south of Powder Mill Road will also be incorporated into the construction contract.


Town Reaches Agreement with CSX on Acquisition of CSX Corridor

November 24, 2020:  The November 3, 2020, Presidential/State Election Ballot Question 3 sought to authorize spending for the land purchase and passed at the election. At the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on November 17, 2020, the results of due diligence were reported, an amendment to the PSA was approved, and the Board voted to advance to closing, which is anticipate to occur the week of November 30, 2020. Click for more information.

August 26, 2020: Town of Sudbury has reached an agreement and signed a purchase and sale agreement with CSX regarding the acquisition of the CSX-owned 1.4-mile corridor for future potential expansion of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. Click for more information.

MassTrails Grant Award for Sudbury Acquisition of CSX Corridor

August 1, 2020: Town of Sudbury has been awarded a $300,000 MassTrails Grant toward the acquisition of the CSX-owned 1.4-mile corridor for future potential expansion of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. Learn more at  This grant combined with the 2018 Recreational Trails Grant of $100,000 will cover approximately one third of the purchase price.


MassDOT Design Public Hearing: July 16 – 30, 2020

MassDOT’s virtual Design Public Hearing for the BFRT in Sudbury was presented as a webinar which was posted online on July 16th.  Public comments to be captured as part of the Design Public Hearing proceedings were directed to MassDOT by July 30th. The video will be available and additional comments may be submitted on an ongoing basis following compilation of the Public Hearing proceedings.

The hearing is presented at and on Sudbury TV.

Design Public Hearing Slides for Reference:

Slides 1-9, Project Introduction, History, Scope

Slides 10-25, Design Elements, Roadway Crossings

Slides 26-37, Historic Elements, Traffic, Structural Design Introduction

Slides 38-52, Structural Design Hop Brook and Boardwalk

Slides 53-71, Structural Design Pantry Brook, Environmental Context, Next Steps, How to Comment

Transcript of the Hearing with Public Comments

Click below to learn more about the hearing:

Public Hearing Announcement    Public Hearing Notice        Public Hearing Flyer

BFRT MassDOT Approved 25% Design Plans

25% Design Path Plans

Hop Brook Bridge Sketch Plans

Boardwalk Sketch Plans

Pantry Brook Bridge Sketch Plans

MassDOT Comments on 25% Design with Sketch Plans

MassDOT Comments and Comment Resolution – General

MassDOT Comments and Comment Resolution – ROW

MassDOT Comments and Comment Resolution – Traffic

(Sketch Plan Comments require file transfer due to file sizes)

25% Revised Sketch Plan Submission to MassDOT April 2020

Approved Geotechnical Report

Approved Hydraulic Report, Pantry Brook


     Appendix 6.1 FEMA Hydraulic Model

     Appendix 6.2 StreamStats 

     Appendix 6.3 FIRM Information

     Appendix 6.4 Existing HEC-RADS Model and Results

     Appendix 6.5 Proposed HEC-RADS Model and Results

    Appendix 6.6 and 6.7 Scour Analysis and Rip Rap Calculations

Approved Hydraulic Memo, Hop Brook

Hop Brook Bridge Sketch Plans

Boardwalk Sketch Plans

Pantry Brook Bridge Sketch Plans

Construction Estimates


Pantry Brook Bridge

Hop Brook Bridge


BFRT Project Update February 2020

Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Matt Genova Email Update on Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Planning/Project Readiness

Select Board Letter to MassDOT, February 12, 2020


BFRT Project Update December 9, 2019

MassDOT General Design Process Flowchart (BFRT – Sudbury Design Status highlighted)

Schedule for 25% Design and Design Public Hearing


25% Sketch Plan Submission to MassDOT November 27, 2019

Geotechnical Report

Hydraulic Report

Sketch Plan Pantry Brook Bridge

Sketch Plan Hop Brook Bridge

Sketch Plan Boardwalk (south of Hudson Road)


Soil Samples/Borings along the Corridor in Summer 2019

Crews collecting data on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Corridor, August 2019 Public Notice


BFRT Project Update July 9, 2019

Memo for BOS Meeting July 9, 2019


25% Structural Design (Bridge Sketch Plans) Development
Schedule March 2019

MassDOT Comments Received on 25% Submission (Without Sketch Plans)
Bridge Section Comments Pantry Brook

Bridge Section Comments Hop Brook 

Geotechnical Section Comments

Landscape Section Comments

Environmental Section Comments

Traffic (Boston) Section Comments

Complete Streets Section Comments

ROW Section Preliminary Comments

Utilities Section Comments

25% Design Plans (Without Sketch Plans)
Town Letters to MassDOT:  September 8, 2017 and  September 15, 2017
25% Design Plan Set
25% Design Submission Booklet (Highway, Environmental, and Traffic Checklists, Construction Cost Estimate, and Parking Memo)
Functional Design Report
Hop Brook Preliminary Structures Report 
Pantry Brook Bridge Type Study Report

25% Design Right of Way (ROW) Plans
25% Design Utility Plans

General Wildlife Habitat Assessment Report Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Sudbury, Massachusetts, Wildlife Habitat Assessment Relative to the 25% Design Submittal dated November 2016

Culvert Inventory

Other Documents, September 2017
Designer (VHB) Response to Town Comments 
Estimated Wetlands Impacts
Estimated Floodplain Impacts

Preliminary Design Plans

Preliminary Design Memo from VHB
Preliminary Design Plans Overview Presentation Identifying Some Challenge Areas
Preliminary Design Plans
Preliminary Profiles
Preliminary Cross Sections
Preliminary Roadway Crossing Plans Feb 2017

Existing Conditions Parking Memo

Final BFRT Design Task Force Recommendations March 2017

Alternatives Analysis

Potential Roadway Alternative Routes


Design Process
Proposal Request – 25% Design BFRT; September 10, 2014
Accepted Proposal Response – VHB; October 3, 2014 

BFRT Final Design Proposal Request; August 31, 2020

Design Proposal – Fuss & O’Neill; September 23, 2020

October Update Memo – BOS Meeting; November 1, 2016
August Update Memo – VHB; August 31, 2016
Town Counsel Opinion on Superseding Order of Conditions; August 7, 2015
MassDOT Letter; May 5, 2015
MassDOT Letter; May 1, 2014 


BFRT Meetings
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Meeting; March 9, 2017 Meeting Flier  Notes
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Meeting; November 29, 2016   
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Design Charrette; August 25, 2016   Notes
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Meeting; June 21, 2016   Presentation 
Rails to Trails Public Forum; January 22, 2015  Rails to Trails Forum Minutes


Other Items

Support letters from BFRT Town Representatives:  Acton, Chelmsford, Westford

Request for Funding to Acquire the Northern Portion of the CSX Corridor – 2018 Application for the Recreational Trails Program Grant
Town Meeting CPC Appropriation Vote; May 7, 2014
Board of Selectmen BFRT Gift Acceptance Vote; April 8, 2014 (begins on page 5)

Railroad Valuation Maps

Rail Trail Resources

MassDOT Project Development and Design Guide

Shared Use Path Planning and Design Guide

Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)


Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail – BFRT Trail Maps

Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) Trailmap (Regional Online Trail Map)