As road crews pound away at the $15 million renovation and revitalization of Dorchester Ave., City Hall and the state agency overseeing the work expect the project to continue on schedule for the remainder of the next two years.
McCourt Construction, the contractor selected to work on the project, is currently installing new street light and traffic conduits, curbs, drainage and wheelchair ramps at Peabody Square, Andrew Square, and near St. Mark’s Rd. There are no major detours or lane closings at this point, with only the Bushnell St. extension at Peabody Square closed off.
MassDOT offers details on the projects, as well as weekly updates of road closings and other important information, at mass.gov/massdot/dotave.
Major construction has been underway in Peabody Square since earlier this spring, and will continue throughout the summer and fall. Work at Andrew Square in South Boston is just now ramping up, according to Patrick Hoey, senior transportation planner for the City of Boston.
The project’s master plan calls for 15 intersections to be renovated simultaneously, but planners have made efforts to assure that any work sites are spread out along the route so drivers do not seek to travel through residential areas in search of a way around the construction. After wrapping up most, if not all the final work on the Andrew and Peabody Square intersections, work will begin at the remaining 13 sites, including Glover’s and Fields corners.
The Dorchester Avenue overhaul, a long sought-after goal of city planners, would not have possible to take up all at once if not for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, officials stress. The federal stimulus bill classified the plan, which was already 75 percent finished with its design phase at the time, as a “shovel-ready” project. The ARRA legislation, however, mandated that stimulus-funded projects be completed by individual states and not local governments, forcing Boston to relinquish control to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
In an e-mail to the Reporter, MassDOT spokesman Colin Durrant said that “this project is a perfect example of our close working relationship with the City. They identified it as a major priority, we identified ARRA funding and then state and city transportation officials worked closely to move it to construction and put people to work as soon as possible.”
“As is with many projects across Boston, ARRA funding has been integral to the renovation of Dorchester Avenue and I am proud of my administration’s efforts to bring as many stimulus dollars to our city as possible,” Mayor Thomas Menino said.