Alewife path construction begins

My street dead-ends against the Alewife Brook in East Arlington.

Today construction workers came with earth-moving equipment and dug out the bed of the path that the Department of Conservation and Recreation is building along the Alewife Brook.

View north along Alewife from Cottage Ave, July 8

The bed was dug about 10 or 12 inches deep and mostly filled with a mixture of stone and stone dust.

Earth movers at the end of Cottage Ave., July 8

Or maybe it isn’t stone dust — I’m not in the construction business — but it is laid down to form a stable base for the path.

Whatever the stabilizer is called, it does not quite fill the bed, so I think another layer is coming.

The plans for this path have been around for so long, and have changed so many times, that I don’t remember if the finished path will be made of water-permeable asphalt or stone dust or what.

Earlier, workers had removed the old chain-link fence along the brook and generally cleared the pathway. Someone, probably the gas company, had staked the ground along the underground gas line.

North along the Alewife from Cottage Ave., June 30

The above photo shows the same view as the first, north from Cottage Ave., but a week earlier.

Those black snaky things you can see at the base of the trees in some of the photos are long tubes filled with compost. They’ve been put down for erosion control and, I think, eventually will be cut open or rot away and feed the plants.

Old fence in old tree trunk

This photo gives some idea of just how long that chain-link fence has been here. Traces like this are now all that remain.

It looks as though construction is happening in waves from north to south, but maybe there’s some other scheme.

The path will connect to the Minuteman path at Alewife.

The Alewife Path only touches on Mass. Ave. tangentially, and won’t be a regular part of this blog. But it’s happening right in my back yard and I couldn’t resist taking some photos and sharing them here.

Update: Against my better judgment, I have posted a second installment describing construction through August 27. But this is still a blog about Mass. Ave.!




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