Selectmen start 3-year easements clock for Mass. Ave. sidewalks

Anticipating a fall bid date for the Mass. Ave. project, the Board of Selectmen last night voted to execute legal authority for more than 200 easements needed to repair and refurbish the sidewalks on Mass. Ave. in East Arlington.

The easements, all small and nearly all of them temporary, are a kind of restrictive right of way. They will allow construction crews to enter or touch the designated areas, which abut the sidewalks.

East Arlington sidewalk patch is failing

Sidewalk fail at what is now the Menotomy Grill, looking west.

The value of the easements has been appraised at about $82 thousand, but according to Town Counsel Juliana Rice some property owners have waived payment. The final cost of these easements will be payed from the Town’s share of state highway money.

Town Meeting authorized the easements in 2011. The Town delayed executing its easement authority until last night because the temporary easements expire 3 years after execution.

Last night’s vote started the 36-month easements clock. It is thus an indication that the Town expects the project to go ahead on its current schedule.

Formal filings at the Registry of Deeds and other paperwork must be executed before the project can be bid this fall, leading to a likely groundbreaking in early 2014.

A recent detailed draft of the easements plan is online at the Town’s web page for the Mass. Ave. project.

Update: At its August 19 meeting, the Board authorized its staff to issue official notices of takings to affected property owners.

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