DCR now says “early ‘17” for Greenway opening

The construction work to extend the Neponset Greenway trail into Mattapan and Milton continues apace. A spokesman for the Department of Conservation and Recreation told the Reporter this week that the entire path/walkway is now expected “to be completed and open to the public by early 2017.”

That’s disappointing. It means the mile-long extension from Mattapan Square to Central Avenue will remain fenced off this season, despite the fact that the project was originally supposed to be completed last summer. Last we checked — in the summer — project managers thought they’d have it ready for the public by this month. Now, we’re told, it’s next year.

What’s left to do? Installation of decking on a new “River Bridge,” which was swung into place in July; seeding and planting along the entire trail, and railings along the canopy walk that has been built near Mattapan station. Additionally, the DCR says, they need to finish the installation of railings on footbridges.

Unforeseen delays sometimes get in the way of projects. Homeowners know that well. But the weather has not been an impediment this construction season. It’s a shame, for instance, that residents – who have been walled off from this section of the Neponset River for decades – aren’t able to make use of it this week, when fall foliage is nearing its peak and the temperatures are unseasonably warm – perfect for a stroll or a bike ride.

State officials should press the case with their contractors and get this project finished this season. Time’s a’wasting.

Needed: Lower Mills traffic fix
Traffic congestion is a citywide problem, and every corner of Dorchester has its share of woes. But city transportation officials would do well to get a handle on what’s causing the maddening gridlock in and around Dorchester’s southernmost gateway.

In Lower Mills, Pierce Square, the intersection of Dorchester Avenue, Adams Street, and Washington Street, has become hopelessly and chronically snarled at all hours of the day and night. And, with new housing starts under way and many more entering the city review pipeline on Washington Street (see Page One story), an intervention is a must. Signals need to be better synched, perhaps done in coordination with our neighbors to the south in Milton, to prevent the kinds of back-ups that are bad for commuters and businesses alike.