By Timothy Dugan
Public Affairs Office
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District
Construction on the Muddy River Restoration Project, a flood and erosion mitigation project that aims to enhance the aquatic environment and improve the quality of the watershed, has officially begun.
The construction project is located in the footprint generally between the Riverway and downstream to Avenue Louis Pasteur. The only trees being removed are those removals necessary to conduct the construction activities. These removals have been coordinated with the city of Boston and Massachusetts DCR. Since some branches of these trees overhang the roadways, there will be periodic roadway lane closures to protect the traveling public. Police details will be used to assist in traffic management. Additionally, for safety reasons, pedestrian traffic will need to be re-routed around the work areas associated with the tree removal efforts. Signage will be used to direct the pedestrians around active work areas until such a time as they are enclosed with fences and barriers.
Immediately following the completion of the tree removal effort, the construction areas will begin to be enclosed with fences and barriers to prevent access to active work areas by the public. Once the old Sears parking area (also known as the Sears rotary) is enclosed by a barrier with fencing, efforts to relocate a Boston Water & Sewer Commission sewer line will begin. Most of this effort will take place off of the roadways. Some roadway closures will be made when the new line is cut into the existing manholes. These lane closures will be planned for off-peak travel periods and police details will be used to assist in traffic management.
The major Phase I project components involve the installation of a 10-foot by 24-foot box culvert under the Riverway roadway, the installation of a 10-foot by 24-foot box culvert under the Brookline Avenue roadway, daylighting of the area between the Riverway and Brookline Avenue, and daylighting of the area between Brookline Avenue and Avenue Louis Pasteur. Daylighting is the removal of a culvert and excavation of the area to return the waterway to a natural state Starting on about March 1, traffic management changes will be started that will allow for the installation of the culvert under Brookline Avenue. Traffic on Brookline Avenue between Fenway and Park Drive will be one way only headed inbound. Traffic coming down Brookline Avenue or Boylston Street outbound that want to continue down Brookline Avenue to the medical center will need to travel around the rotary between Brookline Avenue, the Riverway and along Fenway. New traffic signals will be installed to ease the congestion that occurs when traffic traveling down Park Drive from Brookline tries to merge with traffic exiting the Riverway.
On or about March 1, work will begin on relocating the driveway exit out of the Landmark Center onto Park Drive. This relocation is being done to allow traffic exiting to have access to the various roadways as they do now throughout the construction period and beyond. Once traffic management changes have been completed, work will begin on the installation of the Brookline Avenue culvert. This work will initially be conducted in the Sears rotary area. As the work progresses further downstream, traffic pattern changes will need to be made to Brookline Avenue. Installation of test piles/drilled shafts will be initiated as part of the Brookline Avenue culvert effort.
During the entire construction period, sidewalks will be maintained to allow safe passage to pedestrians. There will be some pathways, such as the diagonal path across the Sears Rotary that will be eliminated. Other early incremental work activities scheduled to happen during the upcoming 90-day period include erosion control installation, soil borings and sampling, survey, and observation well installation. These activities will also require periodic roadway lane closures and pedestrian re-direction to allow for the work. All roadway lane closures will be supported by police details to assist in traffic management.
The work that is expected to occur in a 90-day look ahead is posted on the Corps web page. The information can be found at the hyperlink shown below. The information will be updated as work progresses: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/ProjectsTopics/MuddyRiver.aspx.