The most significant changes will involve major upgrades in pedestrian safety and in the physical appearance of the Commonwealth Avenue project area. Among these improvements, sidewalks and crosswalks will be modified to better and more safely accommodate the areaís high volume of foot traffic; disability access will be enhanced; and one westbound vehicular traffic lane will be eliminated, resulting in additional traffic calming through the project area. In addition, a second travel lane will be added to the westbound side corner of Commonwealth Avenue at the BU Academy parking lot area to help minimize traffic congestion and facilitate pedestrian crossings, which will also be improved as a result of the installation of new and better traffic signaling and crosswalks.
From a streetscape perspective, the project will dramatically enhance the physical appearance of the Universityís core campus areas. At various points along the main thoroughfare, brick sidewalk treatments will be utilized along with trees, grass, shrubs, and flora. Also, attractive new lighting and furnishings will be installed including raised planters, benches, and bicycle racks. Through the beautification process, the project seeks to celebrate the proud history and character of Boston University and reflect the design elements found throughout the eastern end of Commonwealth Avenue.
The Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD) has estimated that the project will take approximately two years to complete.
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The Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD) is the lead governmental agency responsible for the project. The MHD has awarded the project to the construction management firm of McCourt Construction Company.
The Massachusetts Highway Department, the MBTA, and McCourt Construction Company are working together to minimize disruptions in service to public transportation in the project area. No disruption in public transportation is anticipated.
The two projects are being managed by two different state agencies. The Kenmore Square Station improvement project is being coordinated by the MBTA and the construction management firm of Barletta Construction; the MBTA has estimated that this project will be completed by the first quarter of 2008. The Commonwealth Avenue Improvement Project is being coordinated through the MHD and McCourt Construction. The University has taken steps with the MHD, the City of Boston, and the MBTA to ensure that communications remain open between these agencies and the University so that potential disruptions to University programs and operations are minimal.
Boston University has convened a Commonwealth Avenue Project Task Force made up of representatives from the Office of the President, Provost, Operations, Facilities Management, Student Affairs, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Human Resources, the Boston University Police Department, and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. In addition to the above offices, both a student and a faculty representative will be appointed to the task force. The task force will meet on a regular basis to review the University calendar, programs, and ongoing operations and in turn communicate that information to the MHD and McCourt Construction so that appropriate mitigation measures can be put into place and specific concerns addressed.
Boston University also plans to have regular project meetings with the MHD, the City of Boston, McCourt Construction, and other relevant governmental agencies and departments throughout the construction period. These meetings will be used by the University and the project team to exchange information regarding ongoing University programs and operations and project updates so that the University community can plan accordingly in minimizing potential disruptions and inconveniences. Will metered parking on Commonwealth Avenue be affected? As a result of curbside and roadway improvements it is likely that metered parking on both sides of Commonwealth Avenue within the project area will be affected at certain times. Please visit the Project Update section of this website as more information becomes available to the University regarding parking restrictions and other issues that may arise during the project.