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April 24, 2008



Does anyone have a more detailed timeline for the project? I can't seem to get this information anywhere. For example, when will the traffic detours stop? I'd assume that once the work under the road itself is finished the roads would be cleared and repaved eliminating the traffic problems. Then there is the sidewalk work, followed by the cosmetic work. When are these stages expected to start and how long will they last? And when will the intersection of Bow and Somerville ave closes to the square be cleared and returned to it's normal design?

Inman Square

This is a huge project that will inevitably result in a mess. However, it seems that this project has not had a good construction management plan and has resulted in excessive impacts on businesses and residents. I wish Somerville would take its construction projects as seriously as other communities do (for example, weekly email updates through a listserv.) It looks like a big sandbox out there.


Excuse the dumb question, but I think I was absent when the memo came out. Can someone tell me exactly what the construction is supposed to accomplish? With the mess it has created and the amount of time it has taken, you would think they are building the underground infrastructure for the green line extension....


I agree that this construction was not needed. When we moved to the Union Square area 3 years ago, they were just finishing the construction in the Square. Now, the entire area is one giant nighmare - whether you drive or walk through the square. Good luck with the negotiations with the construction company, Aldermen. What a braintrust these Aldermen are!


I can't speak to the issues of alledged sloppy project management, but it doesn't take a civil engineer to figure that Somerville Ave. has been nursed along for many years.

The construction involves, among other things, replacement/enlargement of the storm drain and sewage lines. This is a hundred year project--in terms of its frequency, not its duration--and as such, is bound to create a substantial amount of disruption. Beacon Street wasn't much better and was a fraction of the size in terms of its scope.

Anyone who's ever been at the foot of Lowell Street during a heavy downpour would see why the underground system needs an upgrade. One occasion I specifically remember was during the Mayoral preliminary election day in 2003. It POURED for about 20 minutes and the manhole covers were lifting off on Somerville Ave. The larger drainage lines should help to alleviate at least some of that.

Somerville Ave., like every major artery, has a bunch of utility easements as well, including a main 345KV underground power line that ties Mystic Station with Alewife Bulk. Just working around these types of complex easements is difficult, let alone doing so while keeping traffic moving.

I recall hearing that it would be a two year job, and that was back in late 2006. At that, IIRC, the project was postponed for at least one full construction season due to some sort of schedule conflict or bid issue.

It may be a major inconvenience in the near term, but if it is something that is going to suffice for a number of decades, it's worth the relatively temporary inconvenience.

Just my opinion.



The project part of what we need to bring the city into the 21st centry!

Ron Newman

I'm also looking forward to a much smoother road surface once this is finished. Remember when they dug up Highland Avenue a few years ago? That was also a hassle, but worth it in the long run.

it *is* funny

Wow, JAR, thanks for the information. I agree it's a big pain in the neck, but unavoidable and necessary.

Ron Newman

Something to watch out for: Once Somerville Avenue is finished, the city needs to do the same thing on Beacon Street.


What a God Damn disasterous mess this construction project has ended up being! Talk about "milking the job"! How much longer are those big cement tubes going to be stuck in the middle of Union Sq? How the hell long has this thing been going on now? It's going to become political now. Politicians allowed this corrupt disaster and they gonna pay!

Waste of Money

Every day, on the way to Davis Sq, I see the same policemen standing there, staring and doing nothing. What a waste of money. At times, I see groups of workers, only half of them seem to be doing anything vaguely resembling "work". Thank you unions for reminding the world how things should not be.

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