Reshaped Brighton Mills Takes Form

As construction progresses on the new Charlesview, Brighton Mills retailers continue regular operation.  We encourage the community to continue to support STAR market, Bruegger’s Bagels, and PETCO as construction proceeds at their front door (literally).  Soon those retailers will be joined by two new eateries: a newly reconstructed McDonald’s and Maki Maki.

These stores that make up the new, smaller Brighton Mills will soon have a completely reshaped western edge and entry condition, which is currently coming into view on the site.  The entry from Western Ave has already partially shifted onto the new extension of Telford Street.  Along Telford Street, new medians, sidewalks and traffic islands will reshape the parking area and in spring 2012, will add a landscaped edge to the mall.  A new exterior wall along STAR market is under construction, adding a planter wall at the street edge.  A new plaza will soon take shape in front of Brueggers.

Please support these neighborhood businesses during the construction in front of their stores, and then come again in a few weeks to see their new entry area!


Work began last week on the reconfigured entry to Charlesview’s retail neigbors.



Partial Telford Street Opening on Wednesday

What a difference a week makes: compare the photo above with the photo in the previous post, and see the new Telford Street extension become reality.

On Wednesday (10/26), the traffic pattern to enter Brighton Mills will shift, with the existing entry drive closed off and vehicles and pedestrians routed about 40 feet to the east to the northern section of the new Telford Street extension.  Likewise, STAR trucks will be rerouted to the southern portion of the new street (though it will remain restricted to trucks until the full street is opened).  For the next few weeks, this new entry will temporarily route cars into the Brighton Mills parking lot while the middle section of Telford Street is under construction. 

By mid-November, the full length of Telford Street should be open, reconnecting Holton Street to Western Ave.  By the end of the year, a new traffic light will be installed at the intersection of Telford and Western (as part of the related McDonald’s reconstruction project), which should substantially ease vehicle and pedestrian movement in the area.

Shift in Brighton Mills Access Coming Soon

As detailed in this space previously, the construction of a new street through the center of Brighton Mills is an important milestone in the construction, both to improve access through the site and to the Brighton Mills retailers, as well as to contain the Charlesview construction within a single fence.  The new street will be an extension of Telford Street from Western Ave to Holton Street.

To keep access to Brighton Mills open at all times, the transition to the new street will happen in stages over the next six weeks.  During this time, drivers and pedestrians should be prepared for the entry area to Brighton Mills to have shifted, though drive lanes and pedestrian walkways should be available at all times.  The new (permanent) street configuration, complete with a sidewalk along Brighton Mills, should be complete by the end of November.

The path of the new Telford Street Extension takes shape to the left of the existing Brighton Mills exit on Western Ave. Vehicle access will shift over the next six weeks.

Sheet Pile Driving Begins

Yesterday the first of the sheet piles was driven into the ground, near the corner of Western Ave and Litchfield Street.  The steel sheeting will be driven around the perimeter of the future garage to safely hold back the surrounding earth as the hole for the garage is excavated.  This marks the transition from demolition to new construction of the redeveloped Charlesview.

TCB used the transition point as an opportunity to touch base with neighbors via two public meetings held near the site this week, one at McNamara House and the other at the Brighton Resource Center.  Both meetings were positive and productive. 

Based on the feedback, the team is exerting a commendable effort toward limiting the impact of a major construction effort in the middle of an active neighborhood and retail area.  Here are the areas where our team will place even more focus on improving:

  • increased collaboration between the different construction projects and commercial property owners on access and coordinated pest control
  • increased visibility for pedestrians and vehicles moving past the site
  • more enforcement of truck routing to keep them off neighborhood streets and of off-hours construction staging activities
  • collaboration between the construction projects and commercial property owners on truck activity on or near the site before work hours begin at 7am

Thank you to our meeting hosts, and to the neighbors who took time out to speak with us about questions and concerns about the ongoing construction.  Thanks also to City Councilor Mark Ciommo and MA Representative Kevin Honan who attended the meetings and continue to stay plugged in to this important development in Brighton.

“What’s that Vibration?”

With Brighton Mills demolition complete, construction will begin in the coming weeks at 400 Western Ave on the Charlesview Redevelopment.  The construction activity on the site will involve the use of equipment which will likely produce perceptible vibration, especially during the months of October and November.  Information is provided below on the effects of this vibration on neighboring structures, and two public meetings will be held in early October to allow the construction team to hear any questions or concerns from community members.

  • Wednesday, 10/12, 10:30am, McNamara House, 210 Everett St
  • Wednesday, 10/12, 6:30pm, Brighton Resource Center, 367 Western Ave

The Community Builders, the developer of the Charlesview Redevelopment, has retained the services of Rick Groll, Industrial Seismologist, to examine the site, geotechnical report, and adjacent structures for the project.  A few neighbors to the construction site have already met Mr. Groll.  For the benefit of those whom have not yet met him, Mr. Groll has provided a description of how vibration is both calculated and assessed when determining the need for building surveys, summarized below:

Research in the field of industrial seismology has determined that the best descriptor of damage potential to building materials from ground vibration is related to the speed at which a material is agitated.  The quantity most commonly referenced in damage studies is “peak particle velocity” and is expressed in units of inches per second (ips). The recommended limits for peak particle velocity differ by building construction material, such as concrete, masonry or wood. The most sensitive common construction material to vibration is plaster on lath.  Construction materials are more sensitive to steady state vibration than impulsive vibration, therefore, the damage thresholds established for steady state vibrations are lower than those established for impulsive vibrations  The level of ground vibration decreases the further you are from the source—if the receiver is double the distance away, they observe a three-fold decrease in the level of vibration.  

The Charlesview geotechnical report indicates that the piling activities at this site will exclusively be “sonic” (vibratory sheet driving) and the material adjacent to Western Ave is partially composed of dense gravel.  

The owners of homes and other buildings which could potentially be exposed to a level of 0.12 inch per second, which is the most conservative ground vibration limit designed to protect structures, were offered an inspection to document existing interior and exterior building conditions.   The building survey records general property conditions and specific structural defects in video format.  

Based on Mr. Groll’s review and industry threshold criteria to prevent damage and distance between the new pilings and surrounding structures, a radius to perform building surveys was established.  The established radius for building surveys is structures within 100’ of the anticipated sheet piling activities. 

Neighbors outside of the 100’ radius are outside the radius in which any level of vibration approaching any damage threshold criteria should be expected.  However, some occupants will feel the vibration for much of the duration of sheet pile driving. 

NOTE: Even very low levels of vibration (under 0.10 inch per second) can cause objects like glasses, vases and pictures to “skate” across tables and shelves.  Neighbors may wish to relocate fragile items to a safe place during October until mid-November.  These occupants should be aware that while they may experience the vibration, the vibration will not result in structural damage to the buildings they occupy.