Cedar, Murdock & Lowell Sts: Street work, meetings & more!

In this edition:

  • (Upper) Cedar Street (Broadway to Highland Ave) Roadway Improvements meeting Monday, September 18, 6:30 PM at Visiting Nurse Assoc, 259 Lowell St
  • Murdock Street Infrastructure and Streetscape Improvements workshop Tuesday, September 26, 6:30 PM also at Visiting Nurse Assoc, 259 Lowell St
  • Lowell Street improvements and paving
  • (Lower) Cedar Street sewer separation infrastructure work continues; Cedar & Summer intersection to remain closed daytimes (except Sundays) until September 27th; avoid Cherry Street

Cedar St 1Cedar St 2

Cedar St

(Upper) Cedar Street (Broadway to Highland Ave) Roadway Improvements meeting Monday, September 18, 6:30 PM at Visiting Nurse Assoc, 259 Lowell St

 Roadway improvements, including traffic calming measures (chicanes, bumpouts, a new crosswalk), and road resurfacing, are planned for Cedar St. between Highland and Broadway this fall. To update the community on the upcoming work, the City Engineering team will present the plan and schedule, and will discuss construction impacts and mitigation and answer your questions. This project was originally scheduled for 2015; a previous community meeting was held on May 18, 2015. The plans are essentially the same as what was presented then, just delayed. Some parking will be shifted, but no net loss of parking spots. Questions or for more information, contact: Rich Raiche, Director of Engineering, rraiche@somervillema.gov, 617-625-6600 x5410, or me.

If you can’t make the meeting or would like to see the plans beforehand, I can send them to you, just email me. Please share this information with anyone who you think may be interested.

Murdock St 1Murdock St 2

Murdock St

Murdock Street Infrastructure and Streetscape Improvements workshop Tuesday, September 26, 6:30 PM also at Visiting Nurse Assoc, 259 Lowell St

This workshop may also be of interest to residents of Warwick and Clyde Streets. This is a follow-up meeting to the one held in late February.

This workshop will focus on streetscape design, sidewalks, parking, and other infrastructure issues on Murdock Street. Rich Raiche, the Engineering Director, and Brad Rawson, the Director of Transportation and Infrastructure, will present three options that they have worked up with the assistance of engineering consultants hired by the City. I have not been briefed or seen any documents, but I have been told that the three options they will present are:

  • Conversion to a one-way
  • Maintain the two-way with reduced parking
  • Establish an open concept/shared street with reduced parking.

     

The purpose of the meeting is to hear the City’s presentation, ask questions and give your feedback to City staff, in a full discussion.

We are inviting Clyde, Warwick and nearby Cedar Street residents as well, since changes on Murdock, especially if it were to become a one-way street, would affect the entire "Patch" neighborhood.

I will be distributing a flyer about the Murdock Street meeting, but please share this notice with any neighbors who you think might be interested.

Lowell Street improvements and paving

In the next few months, D&R Paving, the City’s paving contractor, will be redoing sidewalks and repaving the roadway on the entire length of Lowell Street, from Somerville Ave up to Medford Street in Magoun Square. Work began over the summer on the sidewalks south of Highland Avenue. (Lowell Street was included in the city’s 2015 contract with D&R, but the paving was deferred due to gas main work.)

The work includes the addition of bump-outs at Wilton Street, further development of the chicanes that are already painted on Lowell St. and some paint work on the street at Alpine. The focus will first be bringing the sidewalks into ADA compliance as best possible. The sidewalk work will require parking restrictions, but to the extent practical, the road will remain open to traffic. Once the sidewalks are complete towards late fall, D&R will repave the road, which will require road closure for a few days.

D&R’s current estimate is that they will cross Highland in late September/early October with the sidewalk work. The sidewalk work north of Highland will likely go into November and the whole street will be paved once that work is complete. If you have questions or for more information, contact Rich Raiche, Director of Engineering, rraiche@somervillema.gov, 617-625-6600 x5410, or me.

Cedar & Summer St 1Cedar & Summer St 2

Intersection of Cedar and Summer Streets

(Lower) Cedar Street sewer infrastructure work continues; Cedar & Summer intersection to remain closed daytimes (except Sundays) until September 27th; avoid Cherry Street

This is part of a three-year, $7 million project due to be completed about a year from now. The goal is to separate the sewer and storm-drain systems, and enlarge and improve the 100+-year-old sewer pipes. This project should end the terrible flooding that occurs after every hard rain in the Cedar St/Hall St/Cedar Ave bowl.

The City’s contractor, P. Gioioso & Sons, is currently working at the intersection of Summer and Cedar streets, which is closed to all traffic while they are working. In order to expedite the extremely disruptive work in this busy intersection – and since schools are back in session and the Kennedy School is close by -- the City has negotiated with Gioioso to operate on extended hours, including Saturdays, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. In an email, the City Communications Dept wrote, “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, however, please know that by allowing this work to continue with extended hours, Gioioso expects to complete the necessary work sooner, and move onto the next phase.

The extra work hours will shorten the schedule, and will also increase efficiency as a considerable amount of effort every day goes into securing the excavation at night to open the road to traffic, and then removing those protections in the morning. Work will likely continue within the intersection of Summer and Cedar Streets until September 27th. Once they are done there, the work will continue up Cedar Street between Summer St and Highland Ave.

This challenging phase of the sewer separation project has necessitated the closure of both Cedar Street south of Highland Avenue and Summer Street between Porter and Cherry Streets. The Engineering Dept, working with the Somerville Police Dept, has made some tweaks to the traffic management plan, and with the help of police details, are managing the traffic impacts as best as they can. But this is certainly causing delays, and the detours are bringing additional traffic onto Porter and Cherry Streets, which are already burdened with too much traffic. In an email sent out today, the City Communications Dept wrote, “…Due to severe traffic congestion on Cherry Street, we strongly advise seeking alternative routes to and from Elm Street during construction.” The Director of Engineering wrote today, “…Anything anyone can do to encourage drivers, particularly those heading to the Kennedy School, to avoid Cherry Street would be appreciated.”


Sincerely,

Mark Niedergang

Ward 5 Alderman

617-629-8033

Mark@MarkNiedergang.com

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