The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will hold a public informational meeting in Cambridge next month to provide an update on the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project’s completed and upcoming work. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 2 from 6-8pm at the Multicultural Arts Center on 41 Second Street. Following the presentation, staff from MassDOT and the design/build contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli JV, will be available to answer questions.
Don’t worry if you can’t make the informational meeting in Cambridge because MassDOT will hold a similar presentation in Boston on Thursday, September 17 from 6-8pm in the Auditorium at the Shriners Hospitals for Children on 51 Blossom Street.
For more information about the project or to sign up to receive email advisories, please visit the project website. For construction related questions or issues, contact the project hotline at 617-519-9892.
The Somerville Community Corporation and the City of Cambridge’s Office of Workforce Development are co-hosting a recruitment event in Somerville for the MassWIN GLX Workforce Development Program tonight at VNA Somerville (259 Lowell Street) at 7pm.
The program, also known as the Building Pathways program, is a pilot project that intends to recruit community members into transportation related careers and will focus on workforce development and job creation in the communities along the GLX route. Please contact Barbara Louis at 617-776-5931 x 233 or email at email@example.com to register for tonight’s event or to learn more about future recruitment events in Cambridge and Somerville.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the City of Somerville will hold a second public information meeting for the McGrath Boulevard Project Development on Thursday, May 28th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium.
MassDOT’s project team will share the ongoing work of the McGrath Boulevard working group in addition to providing a general overview of the progress of project development. The McGrath working group is composed of community residents, municipal staff of abutting cities, business owners, elected officials, and bicycle, pedestrian, and green space advocates. The working group has met three times since November, 2014 and is working to reach a preferred alternative for an at-grade boulevard that accommodates bicyclists and pedestrians along the McGrath Highway corridor. Following the presentation, MassDOT staff will facilitate a discussion to hear community comments and questions.
MassDOT Secretary and CEO, Richard A. Davey announced a statewide high school video contest to promote the Safe Streets. Smart Trips. initiative at an event on Thursday, May 15h at Somerville High School. The initiative is a multiagency and multidisciplinary effort within the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Awareness and Enforcement Program, and part of the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan to promote safe walking, bicycling, and driving behaviors within the Commonwealth.
MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard Davey announces “Safe Streets. Smart Trips.” Video Contest on Thursday, May 15.
The video contest is open to all high school students across the Commonwealth. Contest rules and guidelines will be sent to high school principals and can also be found here. A grand prize and runner-up winner will be chosen in October, 2014 and their contributions will be premiered at MassDOT’s annual active transportation conference, Moving Together. The grand prize winner will receive an iPad, a $300 cash prize, and a prize packet of sponsor prizes, while the runner-up winner will receive an iPad and a prize packet of sponsor prizes.
The contest is designed to raise awareness of each traveler’s behavior within the transportation system. In order to prevent accidents on our roadways, drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians must exercise care and caution for one another. The contest will also draw on the benefits of healthy and active transportation options.
For more information about the 2014 Moving Together healthy transportation conference, please visit this link.
The Green Line Extension (GLX) Project Team will hold a public meeting to review the latest design plans for the Community Path on Wednesday, May 14 at the Holiday Inn in Somerville on 30 Washington Street from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey announced on April 30th that as part of the Green Line Extension project, the project team will both design and construct the multi-modal Community Path to be built along the GLX in Somerville and Cambridge. The 1.9 mile path will connect four GLX Stations: Lowell Street, Gilman Square, Washington Street and the relocated Lechmere. When complete, the path will provide a connection that will give pedestrians and bicyclists a continuous route from Bedford to Boston. More information about the project is available on the Green Line Extension website. If you have any questions on the Green Line Extension Project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information or to request reasonable accommodations and/or language services for the Community Path Meeting, please contact Joe Sgroi at email@example.com or 617-996-0771.
Curb cuts, median removals, and traffic mitigation have already begun on the Longfellow Bridge rehabilitation project. The project is extremely complex, involving the reconstruction of a century-old bridge and the brick-by-brick refurbishing of its iconic salt-and-pepper-shaker stone towers. Over the next three years, construction on the Longfellow is going to have a major effect on how all of us get around town. With that in mind, I’ll do my best to keep you up to date through this blog, and to answer some common questions.
Last night, MassDOT held a public meeting regarding the project in general and traffic detours specifically. You can see the presentation from last night’s meeting here. As you might expect, there’s a lot of information in that presentation, so I’ll try to highlight the key points:
- Red Line train service will be replaced by buses running from Kendall to MGH and Park St. on five weekends in 2013: August 10-11, August 24-25, October 19-20, October 26-27, and November 2-3. During these weekends, the Longfellow’s cycle lanes will be closed to accommodate two-way bus traffic, and traffic patterns around the bridge will change significantly. To receive real-time updates and alerts about Red Line service by phone or email, sign up for the MBTA’s Rider Alerts. There are a total of 25 planned “weekend diversions” over the project’s three-year lifespan.
- The project includes several features to make the Boston and Cambridge sides of the bridge more pedestrian-friendly, including a new footbridge connecting the Longfellow to the paths on Memorial Drive.
- The first phase of construction requires closing the western lanes of the bridge. Boston-to Cambridge traffic will be detoured until September of next year. You can find a full-color map of the detour on page 18 of MassDOT’s presentation.
- Striping of new lanes on the Craigie Bridge/Charles River Dam Rd. begins this Saturday.
- MassDOT and the project’s contractors will be intensely monitoring data from the first two weeks under the new traffic patterns, and will make adjustments as appropriate.
MassDOT is operating a dedicated hotline for comments and concerns related to the Longfellow project, and they intend to answer every call within two hours. You can reach MassDOT’s hotline at (617)-519-9892, or just send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. MassDOT’s Stephanie Boundy is also keeping neighbors up-to-speed with regular email blasts. Over 700 people receive these helpful email alerts now, and you can sign up by contacting Stephanie at (857)-368-8904 or email@example.com.
Cambridge-bound traffic will be rerouted to the Craigie Bridge and Land Boulevard during the Longfellow Bridge’s rehabilitation. Image via MassDOT.
Beginning July 20, traffic patterns on the Longfellow Bridge will be dramatically changed to accommodate construction on the 107-year-old structure. The new traffic patterns will only affect motorists: cyclists and pedestrians will continue to be able to cross the bridge in both directions. The new traffic patterns are expected to persist until September 2014. Click here to see a larger map of the new traffic patterns.
Boston-bound traffic will be reduced to one lane, while Cambridge-bound traffic will be diverted to the Craigie Bridge. You can learn more about the project and traffic changes at tomorrow night’s public meeting at MIT.
Beginning this Friday, as part of Phase I construction of the Green Line Extension, Medford St. between McGrath Highway and Ward St. in Somerville will be closed for three weeks. This closure is expected to create significant traffic impacts, and you can learn more about detours here.
A map of the detour routes is below. As always, if you have any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Green Line Extension Project at 855-GLX-INFO (855-459-4636).
Detours for the Medford St. bridge construction. Image via MassDOT.
An aerial view of the Longfellow Bridge. The 107-year-old structure is undergoing major repairs beginning this summer. Image via MassDOT.
With rehabilitation of the historic Longfellow Bridge set to begin soon, MassDOT invites neighbors to attend one of two meetings in East Cambridge:
- Monday, July 1, 6pm — Cambridge Police Headquarters (125 6th St.)
- Wednesday, July 10, 7pm — MIT Building E 25, Room 111 (45 Carleton St.)
Representatives from both MassDOT and the bridge’s construction company will be in attendance to answer questions about traffic changes, pedestrian and cyclist access, Red Line service, and more. MassDOT will present their plans and then open up a question-and-answer session with the public. If you live or work nearby, or if you regularly use the Longfellow, I encourage you to attend.
A map of some of the existing and proposed multi-use paths in Greater Boston. Image via Friends of the Community Path.
Those of us who have supported the construction of the Community Path along with the Green Line Extension (GLX) recently received some really good news. At issue was the question of what’s known as “the Fitchburg crossing,” the section of Somerville in which the GLX will bridge the Fitchburg Commuter Rail line. At a meeting last week in Medford, we were delighted to learn that MassDOT has committed to designing a way for the Community Path to bridge this gap and connect Somerville with North Point in Cambridge. This is an exciting announcement for a number of reasons.
Designing the Fitchburg Crossing section of the Community Path means that we are closer to seeing a single, continuous mixed-use path stretching from central Somerville to the Charles. Moreover, since the Community Path will run without breaks for rail or street crossings, the larger regional network of mixed-use paths—including the proposed Grand Junction Rail Trail—will finally be seamless. The Community Path is the critical link between paths on the Charles, like the Esplanade, and the eleven-mile-long Minuteman Commuter Bikeway. With the new design of the Community Path at the Fitchburg crossing, a commuter living in Bedford can get to work in North Point without ever leaving a designated bike path, and families living in Cambridge and Somerville can cycle safely to Lexington Common for a picnic.
I want to thank Governor Patrick, Secretary Davy, and the staff at MassDOT and the MBTA for seeing the long-term value in designing a complete community path. They have shown a commitment to listening to and engaging with the many advocates, residents, and neighbors who want to see the Green Line Extension and Community Path be the kind of projects that we can all be proud of. There’s still lots of work to be done on this project, but last night, we took an important step forward.