The last Alewife link advances

Carpenters built on the foundation they erected last week, furthering work on a boardwalk segment on the Alewife Greenway near my house. The new path tracks the brook from the Minuteman Path to the Mystic River.

The Greenway has been walkable end to end since early this year and other areas remain in need of further work.

Nonetheless the boardwalk, on the Somerville bank of the Alewife Brook just north of the Henderson St. Bridge, is the last link in the project.

A wooden grid, which will support the boardwalk, where it makes a dog leg at its southern end by the Henderson St. Bridge. View is roughly east from the bridge, the railing of which is in the foreground at right, at end of day on July 31.

Last week saw the construction of the wooden foundation of the boardwalk, which will swoop over the bank to avoid lamp posts that are close to Route 16. This week carpenters built a grid-like support layer on top of that and laid down much of the hardwood walkway.

Men at work July 30.

Work began at the boardwalk’s northern end on Monday July 30.

Probably the two men in the photo at left spent some of the day completing some more-fundamental structural work at that end. They didn’t get very far with the support grid.

Only a little of the support grid is visible by the end of July 30.

Click on any photo to see a larger version, though I’m afraid some of the farther ones are a little blurry.

The view north from the Henderson St. Bridge at the end of July

On Tuesday the carpenters switched gears and began building south to north, and made great progress.

The  photo at left shows how things stood at the end of that day, Tuesday July 31. I took the first photo in this post at that time too.

The whole thing was completed the next day:

This wooden lattice stands ready to support the walking surface of the boardwalk August 1. That’s St. Paul Cemetery in the background on the Arlington side.

Zero to sixty in 3 days! But such is human nature that on I found myself asking, what next?

The “floor” of the boardwalk is a durable hardwood. View is north on August 2.

Uncut planks hover over the Alewife Brook.

The above photograph shows how things looked at about 5:15 on Thursday, August 2.

At that point, the hardwood planks for the walking surface had been laid out most of the way to the northern end, but only about half had been screwed into  the supporting grid.

This work was extended the next day, though as you can see there is more to be done.

A family of swans appears to watch carpenters fasten planks to the boardwalk on Friday August 3.

Photo: Stephanie Marlin-Curiel

What of the narrow dirt track by the highway where the walkway used to go? Stephanie Marlin-Curiel, who provides a   photo of her own, says

I learned that they are going to do plantings in the dirt area that people are currently running on between the boardwalk and the highway, so there will be a bit of a green buffer.

Stephanie’s photo shows the proximity of the path and the brook to Clarendon Hill Towers in Somerville.

Below is the whole boardwalk project as it stood at the end of the week, August 3, seen through the railing of the Henderson St. Bridge:

At end of week the profile of the new boardwalk is clear.

The last 30–40 feet (at the far northern end, by the orange fencing) have not been planked yet.

I’ve posted a whole series of reports tracking construction of the path near my house, starting with this one in July of 2010. (Links to previous and next posts in that series.) Thanks to Stephanie and other neighbors for Greenway news and photos.

This blog is really about Mass. Ave. but the Alewife path construction is fun to photograph.

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6 comments so far

  1. Cat on

    The first half of the post talks about the end of August and Tuesday August 31. I assume you mean July?

    • Adam Auster on

      Cat: Goodness, yes. I am addled with the heat. Thanks, will fix that!

  2. John Driscoll on

    Enjoyable and informative. Thanks. John

  3. Ron Newman on

    As of today, the boardwalk ‘pavement’ is finished, but the wooden fences on either side are still under construction. The boardwalk is still closed off with yellow tape until that work is finished.

  4. Ron Newman on

    and now it’s finished and open! I just came back from there a few minutes ago.

    • Adam Auster on

      Ron, I’ve been out of town most of this week. So I especially appreciate these reports form the field, thanks!


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