Construction will start across from Pond Lane

Sometime in the next month, work will begin on the first phase of the Mass. Ave. project starting at its western end.

Kelloway Cabral

Left to right: Project Manager Scott Kelloway of MassDOT District 4 takes a question with Nathaniel Cabral-Curtis, the project’s community liaison, at last night’s information meeting.

About 60 residents and business owners learned about the work plan from the contractor and from state officials at a public meeting tonight at the Thompson School.

The pavement phase, slated for fall of 2015, will take place at night, but there are no plans for weekend work.

Utility work—relocation of hydrants and poles—will proceed east block by block down Mass. Ave. across from Pond Lane to the Cambridge line, and then resume on the south side starting again by Pond Lane. Work will take place from 7 am to 3:30 pm on weekdays.

Phase two, the reconstruction of the sidewalks, will similarly proceed from west to east, first on the north side and then on the south. There are no plans to close Mass. Ave., and work will be concentrated in one-block segments of about 100 feet at a time, about 5 parking spaces.

Gregory Oswitt of contractor J.H. Lynch & Sons estimated that sidewalk reconstruction could proceed as far as Winter Street (on the northern side of Mass. Ave.) before being interrupted by the end of the construction season this November.

Parking will generally  be restricted only in the construction zone during working hours, though there could be additional restrictions lasting several days each while concrete cures.

The new lane configuration will not go into effect until after the road is painted in late 2015 or early 2016.

Officials anticipate that the pavement phase could be the most disruptive, which is why it will be conducted at night.

Although Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine introduced the panel of officials, the construction phase is under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which hired and oversees the lead contractor, J.H Lynch.

Questions from the audience generally focused on aspects of the construction phase, although some sought to revisit the contentious tone of the design meetings and others brought traffic concerns unrelated to the Mass. Ave. Project.

The meeting was the first informational meeting of the construction phase.

There’s a lot more to say about this meeting, which was professional and informative. But these highlights are all I have time for tonight.

 Update: The Town has made available this slide presentation from the meeting.

Further Update: YourArlington.com has more details, and the Arlington Advocate describes the tone and people at the meeting.

Even More Update: YourArlington describes some of the questions and comments from residents and business owners at the meeting.

Meanwhile, this post details how abutters will be affected by construction day to day, including interruptions of water service and driveway access.

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