Blackstone River Bikeway

PAL’s relationship with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) dates to the establishment of PAL in 1982 when we conducted archaeological investigations for improvements to Route 146 in central Massachusetts. In June 2008, PAL was awarded its fourth on-call services contract to assist MassDOT in complying with federal and state laws and regulations concerning the protection of historic and archaeological resources. 

Segment 2 of the proposed Blackstone River Bikeway is located within the National Register of Historic Places-listed Blackstone Canal Historic District in Millville and Uxbridge and a portion of the National Register-listed Central Street Historic District in Millville, and skirts the easternmost remnants of an inventoried former 19th century industrial village, known as Ironstone, in Uxbridge. Major portions of the proposed bike path will occupy the former towpath of the Blackstone Canal.

Process & Results

  • In addition to compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and Massachusetts General Laws, the project area falls within the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, which mandates that the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission be given the opportunity to review and comment on all such actions.
  • PAL conducted site location and evaluation archaeological surveys, identifying four Native American archaeological sites and verifying specific elements of the Blackstone Canal, including bridge abutments and remnants of canal locks and storage basins.
  • MassHighway is exploring design alternatives to avoid impacts to two archaeological sites determined eligible for listing in the National Register.
Client Name: 
Massachusetts Highway Department
Project Name: 
Blackstone River Bikeway – Segment 2
Project Date: 
2007 to 2008
Project Location: 
Millville and Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Project Services: