Alewife in November

Work crews kept showing up along the Alewife in November, past when I thought to expect them. A little more landscaping got done:

Looking east onto the path and new shrubs from Cottage Ave.

Most of the plantings on this stretch of path have been down by the motel or on the Cambridge side of the brook. There are none close to the Henderson Street Bridge – end. The bushes above were planted on Election Day, November 2, by the entryway at Cottage Ave.

Some of my neighbors lost bits of their lawns to this round of landscaping, actually state land that they and/or the previous owners had encroached on.

One of the swales — the drainage trenches — near Cottage Ave. had been loaded with plants in pots since October 8. This emptied it. Also, brush was cleared from other swales and along the path, though other detritus remains.

After the roller, east from Cottage Ave.

I thought that might be the last hurrah for the year, but the day after Veterans Day I saw a mini-steamroller leaving the path when I came home in the afternoon.

There was a fresh batch of stone dust rolled flat, refreshing the entrance pathway from Cottage Ave., which had been eroded by rain and the passage of heavy equipment.

I took these photos jut a few minutes later. The edge on the path was as crisp and sharp as if it had been sent to the cleaners and pressed.

New entry way, WSW from the path

This concerned me for several reasons. I’d more than half expected the entry path to be rerolled, but not until the end of the project. Repairing the damage from the heavy equipment implied that there would be no more heavy equipment.

But there is still plenty of debris on the path, the swales are empty pits, and the boardwalk ramp up to the Henderson Street bridge is still not built.

Also, the plans show a second leg to the entry path, curving not south towards Mass. Ave but north. It would form a little triangle with the main path and the existing entry path, with a tree (in the background of the first picture above) in the center. If this is not to be, then there ought to be some plantings to discourage people from walking over the tree’s roots.

Also, the new stone dust had not been wetted down, and would surely erode quickly.

That was Friday. At the end of the day on Tuesday, following some heavy rains, the steam roller had returned and rerolled the entry path.

Rolled again, after some erosion

I didn’t get to take these photos until Thursday November 18. As you can see, there was some erosion, though I did not see the extent of it before it was repaired. Cottage Ave. slopes down towards the brook and turns into quite the little sluiceway in wet weather.

Unfortunately the roller, sent to repair the damage of other heavy equipment, cracked the new concrete entryway. (Click photo for detail.)  Earlier earth-moving crews had protected the concrete by laying down plywood.

The roller cracked the new concrete

I thought that was the end of the story, maybe for the year. Nonetheless I took my camera out to the path yesterday, November 30 — leaving no stone dust unturned for you, gentle reader, because I wanted my end-of-month account to be as complete as possible.

I did not expect to find anything new, though, let alone these deep caterpillared treads of earth-moving equipment in the new stone dust.

This track led me south to two neat rectangular patches dug from the earth adjacent to the path near the motel. They were about six by four feet, maybe six inches deep.

6′ x 4′ x 6″

I am thinking, benches. And if so, soon. So maybe I will have some photos in December after all. (Update: Yup.)

In the mean time,  these rectangles cut into the edge of the path bed, allowing us this cross-sectional view of the path’s structure.

Stone dust on top of stabilizing fill

This is the latest in an informal series tracing the construction of the path, with previous reports in July, AugustSeptember and October. And apparently more to come. (Update: a little more here.)

You can see all the Alewife posts on one page here. But remember, this is a blog about Mass. Ave.


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