On the Alewife, far from Mass Ave.

My decision to write these occasional reports of work on the Alewife Greenway has had a pleasant consequence. Neighbors now tell me what is happening on the new path. The news flows both ways.

Fill is poured on the path between Route 16 and St. James Cemetery. Photo: Stephanie Marlin-Curiel

On Monday Al Tosti mentioned he’d noticed that work had finally begun on the last completely unimproved portion of the path, between Broadway and the Henderson St. Bridge. Earlier today Stephanie Marlin-Curiel sent me this photo of work in progress. The view appears to be looking north from or next to the bridge. Thank you, Stephanie.

According to Al, the work on Monday consisted of tearing up old pavement (which was already in terrible shape). This was the start of work: I’d walked that stretch on Sunday when it was its old decrepit self.

Stephanie’s photo, however, shows something being poured. So even though I would be farther from Mass. Ave. than ever (and this is a blog about Mass. Ave.) I set forth, over the bridge into darkest Somerville.

Stone and stone-dust (or is it just dirt?) forms a bed for the next phase. Route 16 in background.

There a kind of mixture of stones and particles of all sizes had been spread inside the excavation left when pavement and dirt were removed.

The fill material spans a gamut from fine particles to rocks.

Perhaps the next layer will be asphalt, in keeping with the other parts of the path on the Cambridge and Somerville sides of the brook. Earlier this year the DCR’s Dan Driscoll said that there would be a boardwalk component to this segment, but not exactly where or how it would work.

There are several bottlenecks where the way squeezes between a post and the curb railing (visible in the photo above), and there is also crumbling old metal railing on the brook side, some of which has already fallen over of its own accord. Perhaps the fence will come down and the boardwalk will swoop around these obstacles.

Or not.  I can’t visualize it at all. I guess we’ll see.

These occasional Alewife posts make a story that began in 2010. The most recent previous installment is here, and all the posts are viewable in their own little sub-blog. Update: Here’s the next episode.

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