The state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has wrapped up its outreach to key local civic groups over the long-awaited Morrissey Boulevard renovation, but a comment period remains open until Mon., Dec. 18, for the public to offer feedback on the latest design.
After Mayor Martin Walsh echoed concerns from a number of residents about proposed changes to the coastal throughway – notably a vehicular lane drop meant to streamline the road and allow for protected bicycle and pedestrian paths – DCR accommodated the mayor’s request that they brief Dorchester groups whose members may not have the chance to attend the full project meetings. The department then met with six civic groups with interests along the stretch of the boulevard, concluding Tuesday with the Harbor Point Community Task Force.
The reconstruction process will work to ensure that the key transit route “maintains traffic flow and better connects the community with its signature waterfront. [DCR] will continue its robust public comment process to better understand the impact that this project will have on individuals who live along the parkway,” spokesman Mark Steffen said in a statement on Tuesday.
Comments can be submitted to DCR.Updates@state.ma.us with “Morrissey Blvd” in the subject line. After the comment period closes, the agency will begin reviewing feedback and looking for areas where it can move ahead with short-term fixes to signaling and access while adjusting the overall design.
City and state officials will review the designs over the winter, according to DCR, and they anticipate a fourth public meeting to take place next spring.
Attendees at the final Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association meeting on Tuesday received updates on other local projects, including:
• Nordblom Co., which plans to complete its purchase of the 16.5-acre Boston Globe site on Dec. 15, will return to the civic group in January with an updated vision for the Morrissey Boulevard parcel. Plans for the site still include robotics, technology, lab space, and potential craft beer and food options, as well as improvements to the nearby Patten’s Cove, according to civic president Desmond Rohan.
• Demolition at Dot Block in Glover’s Corner should stay roughly on schedule this month, spokeswoman Catherine O’Neill said, adding that there was a hold-up with fencing around the site which should be rectified soon.
• The new long-term planning committee, which met for the first time last month, plans to be “proactive” in its approach to area development, Don Walsh said. Committee members identified several parcels to monitor in concert with the city’s Imagine Boston 2030 planning, including the Globe site, the Bayside Exposition Center, and other critical properties along Mt. Vernon Street and Morrissey Boulevard. The next meeting will be held on Wed., Dec. 13, in the basement of Savin Bar and Kitchen.
• Representatives from UMass Boston say the campus’s first dorms will be completed in time for next fall’s academic year. Work on the utility corridor work, landscaping, and roadways will wrap up in a little under a year. The $71 million, 1,400-car freestanding parking garage is expected to be completed by next spring.
The University of Massachusetts Building Authority is “whittling down” the 16 respondents to its Requests for Information about the Bayside Expo site, spokesman Phil Carver said, after which they plan to have both on- and off-campus meetings with the community to discuss the parcel’s future.