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Comm Ave Reconstruction Continues

Pedestrians, motorists still have access, with accommodations


Motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists will navigate around renovation work along stretches of Commonwealth Avenue through the 2017–2018 academic year, as state work continues on the reconstruction of the avenue to improve safety, handicapped accessibility, and aesthetics.

The work, scheduled to end in 2019, includes sidewalk construction and the installation of electrical conduits between the BU Bridge and Acorn Street and between St. Paul and Amory Streets, says Jacquelyn Goddard, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) communications director.

Crews are also resetting sidewalk bricks from Agganis Way to Buick Street, installing curbs, bicycle lanes—which will protect cyclists from traffic and parked cars—and islands between the BU Bridge and Acorn Street, and working on traffic lights around St. Paul and Pleasant Streets and Agganis Way, Goddard says.

Construction doesn’t stop at the end of the day. During overnight hours, workers are installing drainage between the BU Bridge and the Comm Ave–Acorn Street intersection and working on utilities along Agganis Way.

“Access for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists is maintained through these times,” says Michael Donovan, BU vice president for real estate and facility services. In recent weeks, pedestrians have been routed through cordoned-off paths to avoid sidewalks under construction around the College of Fine Arts, at 855 Comm Ave. The cordoned paths have run into the street, cutting one lane of auto traffic from that portion of the avenue.

Donovan says MassDOT is making every effort to conduct the work with minimal disruption. For example, sidewalk construction is being done in sections to allow uninterrupted pedestrian traffic.

The work will continue throughout the fall, with mid-October also seeing deep pavement reconstruction in the area between the BU Bridge and Buick Street, Goddard says. And weather permitting, she adds, there will be ongoing construction this winter. “During the spring, work is expected to include installing granite curbs and brick sidewalks, as well as bicycle lanes and islands.”

This all comes on the heels of this past summer’s three-week closure of the area around the Comm Ave bridge over the Mass Pike for replacement of the span’s eastbound lane, sidewalk, bike lane, and both sides of the T’s Green Line trolley area. The westbound side of the bridge is scheduled for replacement next summer.

The summer bridge closure required detours and street closings, but was completed rapidly because of round-the-clock work shifts and accelerated construction techniques, such as prefabricating the eastbound side for assembly on site.

Rich Barlow, Senior Writer, BU Today, Bostonia, Boston University
Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

One Comment on Comm Ave Reconstruction Continues

  • Dan on 10.04.2017 at 9:38 am

    “Hey everyone, if you’re walking from the hills out to the mud flats today be careful, there’s construction going on somewhere. It’ll be done probably in a few thousand seasons.”

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