Sidewalk replacement begins

Perhaps the most disruptive phase of the Mass. Ave. project began this week when the big Caterpillar excavator cracked open and removed the old sidewalk in the northwest corner of the construction zone.

The excavator breaks the sidewalk by Dunkin Donuts the morning of September 23.


I was out of town the week before, but from the looks of things Phase 1, drains and utilities, reached as far east as Lafayette St. before concluding. The contractor, J. H. Lynch, added a second crew using its own excavator in a second location to finish that up.

Phase I utility work by Walgreens on September 8.

Phase I utility work by Walgreens on September 8.

The utilities phase was extensive but only at select locations. By contrast the sidewalk work will proceed block by block and rebuild every inch of sidewalk.

Work will continue east on the northern (Thomson School) side of the street, then return to Pond Lane and work east on the south (Hardy School) side.

This has got to be disruptive. The question is, how much?

Here is how things looked in front of the Duncan Donuts at the end of the day on Tuesday, after the sidewalk had been hauled away:

Dirty but walkable surface left after a day of sidewalk removal on September 23. View is east towards the Dunkin Donuts on Palmer St.

Dirty but walkable surface left after a day of sidewalk removal on September 23. View is east towards the Dunkin Donuts on Palmer St.

It’s not pretty, but I can report that the surface is hard packed and walkable.

Work relocating utilities by Flora's on September 11.

Work relocating utilities by Flora’s on September 11.

Phase 2 work is scheduled to advance as far as Winter Street this November before taking a winter break.

Phase 3 will construct medians, 4 is road surface, and 5 is landscaping. The project is not expected to conclude until spring of 2016.

The area affected this week stretches from just across Mass. Ave. from Pond Lane to the corner of Palmer Street. Work began on Monday with pavement cutting.

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