The long-planned railroad underpass for the Northampton bike path is nearing completion, but still faces a twisted bureaucratic obstacle course before its final stretch.

Northampton City Hall. Jerrey Roberts photo

To learn about the project’s progress, the Advocate first contacted the City Council of Northampton, which directed us to Wayne Feiden, director of planning and sustainability, who in turn directed us to the power company.

“We are now waiting for National Grid to extend permanent power to the site (needed for lighting and a security camera),” he wrote in an email. “I have not heard a time estimate for that but you might want to check with them.”

National Grid spokesman Robert Kievra said that, actually, the power company is waiting for the city to approve a utility pole to be installed at the site. The board that approves utility poles? You guessed it: the City Council.

A pole petition hearing will take place at a City Council meeting on Sept. 21, according to the City Clerk’s office. If approved, Kievra said National Grid can set the pole “fairly quickly.” How long until the project is done after that? “I think it will be quick,” Feiden said.

The project is anticipated to be completed by next month. Will Northampton cross its T’s and dot it’s I’s on time? We’ll be watching.

Dave Eisenstadter can be reached at