Sidewalk construction surprise strikes again

The yellow excavator takes a bite out of the sidewalk on the northwest corner of Teel St. on May 19.

The yellow excavator takes a bite out of the sidewalk on the northwest corner of Teel St. on May 19.

If you were wondering which sidewalk would go under the knife next: It’s a 3-block stretch centered on Teel Street.

The May 11 bulletin from MassDOT did not mention this work. Instead it only referred to a signal-mast-foundation project at Teel that had not begun as of May 20.

The May 11 look-ahead describes other work as well.

The newly opened 3 blocks from Henderson Street to Amsden are contiguous with the torn up sidewalk from Amsden to Trowbridge.

When the contractor broke ground there, in front of Maida Pharmacy on April 16, it was similarly without warning. The corresponding MassDOT bulletin of March 26 did not mentioned the work.

Work on one of those blocks, in front of the Trinity Baptist Church, has stalled and the sidewalk has been open for five weeks.

Digging up the sidewalk by Maida Pharmacy (Windsor St.) on April 16. The new sidewalks there are still not completely done.

However, the work hiatus there may be related to the Town Manager’s request last month for a sidewalk bump-out in the Varnum Street crosswalk there.

MassDOT confirmed at a public meeting on May 14 that the bump-out was undergoing design.

Pedestrian safety in East Arlington has received extra attention following the traffic death of a local man in the Varnum Street crosswalk on March 22.

The Town emails construction news from MassDOT to residents and others who request it.

I remain intensely curious about what is going to happen next on Mass. Ave. However, I am not personally harmed if the work on the street deviates from the description in the so-called look-aheads from MassDOT.

Mostly, I just want it done.

Furthermore, those same bulletins always warn us: “All work in the 3-week look ahead is subject to adjustment based on the exigencies of construction.”

Nonetheless the inability of the construction team to be able to tell us what to expect even within a 3-week horizon is disappointing.

There have also been unexplained lags and lapses on blocks with unfinished sidewalks

It’s hard not to feel that more planning and coordination, and less day-to-day improvisation, might be both possible and beneficial.

Click here for recent construction news.


1 comment so far

  1. bobsprague1943 on

    If you run an East Arlington business and are affected directly by Mass. Ave. sidewalk work, read

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