The end of the road

Road work ends at the Cambridge line, where stripped meets unstripped. The view is eastbound facing Route 16 from the Cambridge side on September 5.

Road work ends at the Cambridge line, where stripped meets unstripped. The view is eastbound facing Route 16 from the Cambridge side on September 5.

Last week’s night work stripped the top layer of pavement from Mass. Ave. to reveal some of the older secrets beneath.

Night work is set to resume on September 13 to replace the pavement layer.

Welcome to Arlington! and mind the gap. Looking southwest from Route 16, September 5.

Welcome to Arlington! and mind the gap. Looking southwest from Route 16 September 5.

The uneven scored pavement extends for the entire one-mile project from the Cambridge Line to Pond Lane.

Some of the old concrete layer was mixed with stones, for a cobbled effect. See for yourself this week only at the south side of the Lafayette St. pedestrian crossing (shown).

Some of the old concrete layer was mixed with stones, for a cobbled effect. See for yourself this week only at the south side of the Lafayette St. pedestrian crossing (shown).

Repavement includes the first 25 feet of the connecting side streets, so right now each street has its own little bump.

Unlike other recent full-excavation road projects on Summer Street in Arlington and Somerville Avenue in Somerville, the Mass. Ave. project is leaving the existing road bed in place.

The concrete under-layer is at least 40 years old.

Some of it may be older.

No sign of the old trolley tracks that MassDOT confirms still slumber in the subterranean depths.

As usual, click on any photo for an expanded view

Click here for recent construction news.

Cambridge Line

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10 comments so far

  1. markk02474 on

    Adam, There is a photo-op for the machine that eats the pavement right now. Its parked along Mass Ave on the north side towards the center end of the project. At least one of the skirts is raised so you can see the wheel of cones with hardened tips that break up the asphalt. The other night another bystander (Ted Sharpe) and I watching the machine in action noted how the Bobcat following it was like a pooper scooper following the elephants in a parade. Even more parade-like was that the driver zipping around driving like a Shriner in a little car.

    • Adam Auster on

      Thanks Mark, for the suggestion and the metaphor.

      I saw that big scoring truck earlier this evening.

      The evening roll-out really has been impressive—like a military operation when they deploy signs, workers, and equipment.

  2. John Kohl on

    I can see cobblestones underneath Linwood St where they have milled the top layer off of the previous pavement!

    • Adam Auster on

      Until the week of the 13th, when new pavement will cover it for another 40 years!

  3. Ryan Jacobs on

    Hi. Does anyone know why they decided to leave the existing road bed in place (unlike the two other road projects mentioned above)? Thanks.

    • Adam Auster on

      Ryan, I don’t believe it was ever considered. A project like that is an order of magnitude larger than ours in expense, scope, and disruption.

      It also presents some opportunities, for instance to bury utility lines (as Somerville did).

      I know I am ducking your question, which might be rephrased as, well why not? But I honestly don’t know.

      Back in the oughts our then-congressman Ed Markey got funding for the project more or less as it is today, and not with a new under layer. And that’s what we’ve done.

      • Ryan Jacobs on

        Thanks Adam! Much appreciated.

  4. Mimi Wan on

    I saw the pavement scorer machine, most impressive and probably really expensive.

    Do you know when the stop light will be functional on Bates? Also, will there be no parking on the right side of the road on Bates where many cars still park and frequently cause a long queue on Bates.

    • Adam Auster on

      Mimi, my understanding is that the new signals will be deployed as designed as soon as the lane markings are on the road. That would be the week of the 20th.

      I don’t know what is planned for Bates, but unless a right turn is allowed there on red the bottleneck won’t make much difference.

  5. JBinBin on

    Great Pics! Haven’t noticed lately till I saw it in photo. The Island at Mass/Rt16 looks only half done. Are the landscapers going to do the whole thing? It would be nice to see it mirror the one on Cambridge side and update welcome to Arlington sign


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