Gas rehab project, a four-month job, begins this week in Adams Village

A slow-moving National Grid gas-replacement project will begin this week near Adams Corner and could take as long as four months to move along a key two-block stretch of Adams Street. The project has merchants and civic leaders on edge as they brace for likely interruptions in service and traffic flow through the summer months.

A representative of National Grid came to the June meetings of the Cedar Grove Civic Association and the Adams Village Merchants Association last week to give them details of the project. Individual merchants have been meeting with the company’s representatives as well to plan for potential disruptions.

The project will replace about 900 feet of natural gas pipeline underneath Adams Street between Westmoreland Street and Gallivan Boulevard. The work will be completed by the Dorchester-based contractor Feeney Brothers Excavation.

“The company is upgrading the infrastructure in this area from original cast iron main to industry standard plastic piping, which will help provide safe and reliable natural gas service to local customers for years to come,” said National Grid spokesman Jake Navarro. “National Grid has coordinated this project with the city, which plans to repave the road following the conclusion of the project.” Navarro added that the work was part of a larger effort to replace aging infrastructure.

There are no road closures planned with this particular job, but Navarro said that there would be incremental parking restrictions and “staggered traffic flow, facilitated by police, as the project moves down Adams Street.”

Sean Weir, president of the Cedar Grove Civic Association, said he and his membership were surprised to learn of the duration of the project.“We understand it has to happen,” he said. “You can smell the gas smell in the village from time to time. These are 100-year-old pipes. But, four months is a long time and there is some concern about the impacts on the business district.”

National Grid’s Navarro said that the company does not expect the work to “significantly affect businesses in the area. Access is not expected to be blocked, and the project is planned to move down Adams Street as each section is started/completed, so work will not be occurring adjacent to any one business for an extended period of time.”

Mary Kelly, president of the Adams Village Business Association, said merchants are “very concerned” about the duration of the project and the potential loss of parking for their customers.

“We’ve undergone a lot of construction in the last two years,” said Kelly, who added that businesses are anxious to have a “final fix” on the gas lines. “We’ve been disrupted many times over the years to fix leaks. We’re hoping they wont have to come back and do piecemeal work after this.”