12 Projects of Christmas Day 1: Assabet River Rail Trail

Assabet River Trail

Massachusetts DOT

The Massachusetts DOT works to provide the safest and most reliable transportation systems in the State of Massachusetts to strengthen the economy and quality of life. They partner with cities and town, public agencies and private business sectors, to support the environmental and transportation goals of the Commonwealth.


The Assabet River Rail Trail, located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts spans over 8 miles and connects 5 communities together. Along this trail, a new walkway was needed to be constructed. Many components including substructure, top boards and piles were included in the project design, and each element carried unique performance specifications and requirements. Finding a versatile and durable building material was crucial to project success.


Structural recycled plastic lumber met the project requirements for all of the trail pathway components, including the substructure, piles, and deck boards. Bedford Technology value engineered the design and found a long-term lower-cost solution using our FiberForce® structural plastic composite building material. FiberForce® provided the best structural performance for the substructure joist and stringer beams. Since it is immersed in water, structural recycled plastic lumber won’t rot, mold or degrade. The stone design finish on the deck boards provided non-slip properties that were safe for pedestrians and light-duty vehicular traffic.


The MassDOT was able to find a product that solved all of their project requirements and challenges with FiberForce® and are pleased with the results. The walkway provides a safe and environmentally-friendly trail for pedestrians and vehicles, and choosing structural recycled plastic lumber was the right choice to ensure longevity for generations to come.