ADAMS — The 11-mile Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is about to get a little bit longer.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that construction is set to begin on a 1.2 mile extension of the trail, bringing it from Hoosac Street to Lime Street in Adams.
The entire trail, built in two phases in 2001 and 2004, stretches from Pittsfield to Adams.
The extension further into Adams was delayed by a redesign phase, made necessary by the creation of the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum's Hoosac Valley Service between Adams and North Adams. The path between Hoosac Street and Lime Street was shifted by planners to accommodate the adjacent rail line.
The Hoosac Valley Service is expected to resume operations this Spring.
The Lime Street extension will set the trail up for further construction to Hodges Cross Road in North Adams, which has not secured funding but is already in the planning phases. Pittsfield is also considering an extension of the trail, which would bring it 1.5 miles further south to Crane Avenue.
If all planned additions come to fruition, the total length of the trail would grow by some 40 percent, according to the statement released by MassDOT on Wednesday.
"I know from my ride on the Ashuwillticook last year what a wonderful resource this is," said Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack. "MassDOT is investing in projects like this to provide residents and visitors with more options for walking and biking."
In addition to the creation of the path itself, the work in Adams will include "installation of picnic tables and benches, signs, trees, shrubs, loaming, and mulching," according to the department.
Contractor J.H. Maxymillian was awarded the project with a $2.2 million bid.
Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376