The City of Lowell is proud to announce that the new bridge that carries Canal Street over the Hamilton Canal officially opened this week for public use (artistic rendering below). The bridge launch marks a major milestone in the fast-moving Hamilton Canal District (HCD) redevelopment project in downtown Lowell. The new bridge is the main gateway into the HCD to access the Appleton Mills artist lofts and 110 Canal Street commercial (former Freudenberg) building. The Canal Street bridge, as well as area infrastructure improvements completed in recent months, will facilitate the summer 2012 groundbreaking for the redevelopment of 110 Canal Street by Trinity Financial, the HCD Master Developer. The new bridge is also the final piece of infrastructure needed to serve the next 6 development parcels in the HCD and will also include the first piece of the trolley expansion project from downtown to the multi-modal Gallagher Terminal.
The bridge is the final piece of the Jackson Street initiative that has revitalized a former industrial trucking route, with broken asphalt from building edge to building edge, into a Complete Street with street trees, historic lighting, the Hamilton Canalway, and sidewalks designed to serve the mixed-use development springing up in the neighborhood. In addition to the 110 Canal Street project, the Lowell Community Charter Public School, the Lowell Community Health Center and the impending Trial Court will create more jobs on Jackson Street than in the entire Jackson-Appleton-Middlesex (JAM) Plan area before the implementation of the urban renewal planning initiative. Jackson Street has also seen a recent boom in residential development, including the Cotton House Lofts and Loft 27 as well as the Appleton Mills, and planned conversion of 165 Jackson Street into the Counting House Lofts. The Jackson Street transformation is symbolic of the larger JAM Urban Renewal Plan, through which strategic public investments are catalyzing millions of dollars of private development and restarting the market in an area that was largely abandoned as recently as 10 years ago.
The new Canal Street bridge and the Jackson Street improvements have been supported by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and state funding through the MassWorks program, as well as the City’s Community Development Block Grant program.
The City encourages residents to visit Jackson Street, cross the new Canal Street bridge, stroll on the Hamilton Canalway, and join us in looking forward to the continued transformation of this area.