Mass. Ave. project finally ends as Eversource twitches to life

A fresh pour near the corner of Teel St. on the evening of October 3.

A fresh pour near the corner of Teel St. on the evening of October 3.

Nearly a year after the ribbon-cutting for the Mass. Ave. Project in East Arlington, contractor J.H. Lynch is  pouring concrete into the last stretches of Mass. Ave. sidewalk.

Eversource, the power company once known as Boston Edison (and then as NStar), last week shifted the last power cable from an old utility pole across from Lake Street, allowing the pole to be removed and the pouring to take place.

Asphalt filled the gap in Capital Square while Eversource did...whatever it was doing. The double pole in the photo, directly across from Lake St., was the last where wires needed to be moved.

Asphalt filled the gap in Capital Square while Eversource did…whatever it was doing. The double pole in the photo, directly across from Lake St., was the last where wires needed to be moved.

Many small swaths of sidewalk awaited utility action when the construction season ended in November of 2015. The most conspicuous of these was on the north side of Mass. Ave in the business district.

Lynch filled most (but not all) of these areas with temporary asphalt patches last winter.

In the past year, some old poles were completely freed and at least one old utility box was removed, but Eversource could not be induced to act on the Lake St. pole. At one point in 2015, the utility failed to show up for a scheduled meeting with MassDOT officials to discuss the problem.

The wires on this pole were the last to move.

The wires on this pole were the last to move.

As of 2 weeks ago, the project was still stalled by the persistence of power cables on a single old telephone pole, stuck in a sea of black asphalt.

The pole, now gone, was almost exactly in front of Luv and Other Gifts. The shop’s owner and curator, Dianne Buxton, complained last August about “overgrown weeds, orange cones, and this temp sidewalk” and noted that the poles had been awaiting removal for more than a year.

But last week Eversource shifted the last cables to a new pole, setting the stage for Lynch to finish the job it began in May of 2014.

As luck would have it, I was out of town last week. If anyone has any other photos or anything to add, please post in a comment or drop me an email.

Update: Someone did!

As this blog post was being published, there were still some unpoured segments (see first photo). So perhaps it still makes sense to say, one more time, Click here for recent construction news.

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2 comments so far

  1. Bob Sprague (@YourArlington) on

    Thanks, Adam, for faithfully following this project for all of these years, with accuracy, meaning and verve.

    • Adam Auster on

      Here’s to verve, Bob! And those other things you mention.


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