Landscape Architecture | Planning | Urban Design

Lawrence Manchester Rail Corridor EPA Brownfield Area-Wide Plan

Lawrence, MA


The abandoned Lawrence Manchester Rail Corridor sits in a truly amazing setting adjacent to beautiful old mill buildings, the Merrimack and Spicket Rivers, the strong Broadway and Essex Street commercial corridors, and vital residential neighborhoods. To realize the potential of this 1.5-mile corridor, the City secured a 99-year lease from the MBTA and a grant from the EPA’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program.

The LMRC area – encompassing the rail corridor as well as a former incinerator site, an abandoned paper mill as well as various steel fabrication and auto-related businesses comingled with retail uses, multi-family housing, food manufacturers, parks, and charter schools- represents a unique opportunity to redevelop 14 acres of land of found land in a densely populated part of the city and to create a linear park that serves as the southern anchor of a 30 mile rail trail to Manchester, NH. The dramatic rail crossing over the Merrimack provides important physical and symbolic connections between the north and south sides of the city and links the path to the planned Riverwalk Path on the south side of the Merrimack River.

CSS is developing a conceptual plan for a multi-use path and redevelopment of two adjacent underutilized city blocks that will advance the City’s overall goals of economic development, job creation, improved quality of life, and fiscal stability. Redevelopment of the adjacent blocks will provide the opportunity to create an active mixed-use district at this important crossroads, and the proposed multi-use path will tie all of these extraordinary resources together, to all of Lawrence, and to the regional trail system.


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