In 2004 Friends of Schell Bridge was formed as a private, non-profit, 501(c)3 corporation to advocate the rehabilitation and reopening of Schell Memorial Bridge for recreational and pedestrian use. In 2013 the MA Department of Transportation proposed, instead of demolishing the Schell (as had been the town's plan), replacing it with a new pedestrian/biking bridge incorporating as much of the Schell historical character as feasible. Both Friends of Schell Bridge and the Town of Northfield supported this proposal. The Department of Conservation and Recreation will own and maintain the new bridge.
2004 FSB Vision: A beautifully-restored historic bridge across the Connecticut River that serves both as a premier recreational link for a network of hiking and biking trails in the tri-state region and as a centerpiece for a series of linked parks for Northfield and area residents. 2014 update: The update to this vision is to essentially replace "beautifully-restored historic" with "historically-faithful replacement". Further, the ongoing FSB misson should be to promote citizen enjoyment of the footpaths, bikeways, and parks that connect to the new bridge. The details of the FSB role in this new era are being developed.
The Strategic Plan describes the 2004 vision in more detail. The bridge rehabilitation aspects of this plan need to be updated to reflect a replacement bridge instead of a restored bridge. The parts dealing with use, including parks at one or both ends, apply equally well to the new bridge. The part about a Northfield Conservancy is still relevant and that could be the direction in which FSB evolves in the future.
The Economic Impact Study describes the economic value to the aea of a recreational bridge at this location, and thus is still valid for the replacement bridge.