Sidewalk work awaits cement trucks

Workers stack granite curb stones near Wyman St. on September 24.

Workers stack granite curb stones near Wyman St. on September 26.

Work to replace the sidewalks on Mass. Ave. began on September 22 when a cutting machine sliced into the street across from Pond Lane.

By October 10 the sidewalk phase of the Mass. Ave. Project had advanced eastward beyond Harlow Street, absent one crucial ingredient.

Cement.

Consequently, about a quarter mile of Mass. Ave. is currently rough and unfinished though open to pedestrians in off-work hours.

Ready for pavement: View northwest from Foster St.

Ready for pavement: View northwest from Foster St.

It looks as though the sidewalk work will proceed in large chunks, not block-by-block as implied by the project team at its June 16 community meeting.

That may be more efficient, but it increases the impact of construction on abutters, whose sidewalks stand unfinished for longer.

The area near Dunkin Donuts, for instance, has been torn up for 3 weeks.

East Arlington has seen nearly all the phases of sidewalk reconstruction but the last, including the demolition of sidewalks, the placement of curbs, and the grading and compacting of fill.

Straight and deep, pavement cuts allow pavement to be removed cleanly.

Straight and deep, cuts allow pavement on Mass. Ave. to be removed cleanly.

First, the pavement is cut with a large circular blade.

Then old sidewalks are demolished and removed, leaving behind packed dirt that is generally walkable for able-bodied people.

Gravel is laid down for temporary driveways.

Excavators dig a trench for granite curbs. The curbs go in the trench, made fast with gravel-laced concrete.

A curb stone set into a trench with fresh concrete.

A curb stone set into a trench with fresh concrete.

New and recycled curb stones side by side.

New and recycled curbstones side by side.

Some of the curbs are new but much is recycled.

Through this process, the first bump-outs, or curb extensions, got installed at crosswalks by Wyman, Foster, and Harlow streets.

The curbs are set for a 6-foot bump-out at Wyman St. on September 27.

The curbs are set for a 6-foot bump-out at Wyman St. on September 27.

These appear to be only 6 feet wide, though the parking lane there is a full 10 feet.

Granite curbing awaiting installation on September 27.

Granite curbing awaiting installation on September 27.

Next workers grade the sidewalks with a kind of gravel-and-stone-dust layer, a mixture of large and fine particles. (Click on any photo for a closer look.)

Gravel and smaller stone particles used as fill to grade the sidewalk area before paving. October 6.

A clsoe look at the fill used to grade the sidewalk areas. A Roosevelt dime indicates scale.

A close look at the fill used to grade the sidewalk areas. A Roosevelt dime indicates scale.

Then they roll or flatten wetted fill.

I saw workers using two tools for this, a small drum compactor (think sidewalk-scale steamroller) and a device with a vibrating pressure plate pushed by hand like a lawn mower. The latter reaches into hard-to-fit edges and curves.

A new granite curb stone before installation.

A slab of new granite before installation.

According to the Town, cement is next. Indeed it had been scheduled for last week.

After what I had heard from the project team at the June 16 community meeting, I was surprised that abutters have to wait so long for work to finish on each block.

I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word “block” is.

Click here for recent construction news.

Advertisements

No comments yet

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: