Archive for the ‘Alewife paths’ Tag

Partial Greenway repairs await complete fix

A permanent remedy to some erosion problems on the Alewife Greenway may finally be in the works.

At Cottage Ave, the DCR left these marks and the words "Handicapped ramp 4' wide" on or before May 15.

At the Greenway’s Cottage Ave. entrance, the DCR left these marks and the words “Handicap ramp 4′ wide.” Click any photo for a close-up.

But will the Department of Conservation and Recreation make the structural changes in time to preserve recent repairs it made to the eroded path surface?

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Mass. weighs fixes to Alewife path erosion

Where the Alwife path slopes down north of Mass. Ave., storm waters exposed underlying gravel fill.

Storm waters exposed underlying gravel fill where the Alewife path slopes down north of Mass. Ave.

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation is studying steps to prevent future damage to the Alewife Greenway entrance at Cottage Ave. and also plans to repair the path in the wake of last week’s violent storm.

The storm damage, and especially the accumulation of soft stone dust loosened by a flash flood, has rendered parts of the path inaccessible to people with disabilities despite some temporary repairs made on August 5.

Dan Driscoll, the director of recreation and facilities planning for the state Department of Recreation and Conservation, visited Arlington on August 6 to view the damage firsthand with other department staff members.

The flooding tore away some of the stone-dust walking surface of the path, exposing underlying gravel.

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Flash flood hits Alewife path hard

Parts of the Alewife Greenway are no longer accessible to people with disabilities following a violent storm that damaged the path’s stone-dust walking surface.

Where the Alwife path slopes down north of Mass. Ave., storm waters exposed underlying gravel fill.

Storm water exposed underlying gravel fill where the Alewife path slopes down north of Mass. Ave.

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Spring comes to the Alewife

I have been wondering about all the plantings made last year along the Alewife Greenway.

The oaks are budding

The oaks are budding

It’s a big transition to be dug up and stuck in the ground and then left untended for the winter. Some of the shrubs looked nearly dead to begin with.

I took these photos yesterday on the small path segment that is right near my house on Cottage Ave. in East Arlington.

The landscape architects deliberately chose only North American plants for the Alewife Greenway. For trees, we got about 6 oaks on our little path segment.

These are less demonstrative than the maples planted in other locations, but as you can see the oaks are budding.

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On the Alewife, small flaws hint at things to come

Water has cut lazy curves into the side of the path north of Mass. Ave. View is south, with mass. Ave. in the background.

Water has cut lazy curves into the side of the path. View is south, with Mass. Ave. in the background.

Several months after its formal dedication, the Alewife Greenway is already gently aging.

With only one exception, the erosion and other signs of wear and tear are minor and do not interfere with the use or enjoyment of the path.

However, these small signs indicate what will need continual maintenance over time.

In particular, the path’s stone-dust surface is clearly eroding in places that were rebuilt or repaired as recently as August 31.

I walked the whole Greenway at the end of the year to see how things were doing, just before the snow. Come with me for a report.

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Cutting the ribbon left to right are Senator Will Brownsberger, Arlington Selectman Joe Curro, Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, DCR Commissioner Edward Lambert, Somerville Alderman Robert Trane, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Jeffry Simon (who directs the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office), and Massachusetts Energy and Environment Secretary Richard Sullivan. October 25 2012.

The backhoes are gone and the carpenters have packed up their tools. Though the landscapers who were at work yesterday may well return tomorrow, today state and local officials came to cut the ribbon on the Alewife Greenway path that they had helped to make a reality.

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Go fish

The alewife swim east from the trail head at the Henderson St. Bridge. Photo (looking West): Stephanie Marlin-Curiel.

Follow the alewife as they swim along the Greenway path.

These decorative stencils connect the path segments, trail head to trail head, where interrupted by roads at Mass. Ave. Henderson St., and Broadway.

They are new as of last week. I noticed them for the first time walking back from the T after a dentist appointment on October 18.

They made me smile, Novocaine and all.

There has been a flurry of finishing touches like this on the whole path since the end of August, including more landscaping and trees and some repairs to the eroded stone-dust walkway.
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Bandaid or cure for Alewife erosion?

The eroded Cottage Ave. entryway to the Alewife Greenway gets some TLC on August 31. View is east from Cottage Ave.

Badly needed repairs have restored the Alewife Greenway’s Cottage Ave. entry way but fail to address the underlying problem of rainwater runoff that had eroded the entrance. (Click any photo for a close up.)

The fixes were made as part of a last minute push to get the path in good shape by Labor Day.

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Finishing Touches

The full inscription at this trail head reads “Alewife Greenway Corridor” incised in noble Roman capitals.

Dan Driscoll, the planning director at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, told us last winter that he wanted to wrap up the Alewife Greenway by Labor Day.

In the close of August there was a flurry of activity aimed at meeting that goal.

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Walk the path from end to end

I was out of town, but last Friday alert reader Ron Newman reported that the Henderson St. Boardwalk was “finished and open.”

Open for business: the view north from the Henderson St. bridge at the end of the week. Note the carpenters’ trailer and canopy are still in place at the northern end of the boardwalk.

With this milestone it is finally possible to walk the Alewife Greenway path end to end on the new surfaces.

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The last Alewife link advances

Carpenters built on the foundation they erected last week, furthering work on a boardwalk segment on the Alewife Greenway near my house. The new path tracks the brook from the Minuteman Path to the Mystic River.

The Greenway has been walkable end to end since early this year and other areas remain in need of further work.

Nonetheless the boardwalk, on the Somerville bank of the Alewife Brook just north of the Henderson St. Bridge, is the last link in the project.

A wooden grid, which will support the boardwalk, where it makes a dog leg at its southern end by the Henderson St. Bridge. View is roughly east from the bridge, the railing of which is in the foreground at right, at end of day on July 31.

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A boardwalk takes shape

Looking north from the Henderson St. Bridge on July 13.

The bones of the last boardwalk segment of the Alewife Greenway rose up last week following a week off.

The work is unfolding on the Somerville bank of the Alewife Brook just north of the Henderson Street Bridge near my house in East Arlington.

At the start of the week things looked as they had on July 13 (photo at right). Metal and wooden supports march side by side along the brook’s eastern bank. That’s Route 16 on the right.
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