Moving On

Close observers of the Charlesview construction site will notice two major shifts in construction activity this week.

The first is the relocation of the steel erection crane to the eastern side of the garage deck.  The last of the Building D1 structural steel was lifted into place and connected last week, so the crane is moving into place to erect building E1, the 84-unit building along Western Avenue with ground floor retail.  As the largest building on the site, getting E1 under way is critical to keeping construction progress ahead of schedule.

The second shift is activity on a new portion of the site, on the southern side between STAR Market and the former Brookline Machine shop.  That area, known as “Block C” to the construction team, will be a residential block with five woodframe townhouse buildings containing 16 units.  (The remainder of Block C will contain three buildings with homeownership units).  Foundation work on the rental townhouses should begin this week, with wood framing coming later this summer, when the whole site will be bustling with activity.

Telford Street Improvements Resume

After pausing for the winter months, improvements along the new Telford Street extension are resuming for both the McDonald’s and Charlesview developments.  A new traffic signal at Telford & Western will soon be operational, which should ease both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.  McDonald’s has begun installing the permanent landscaping.  And in the next few months, JMA will install the permanent concrete sidewalk and lighting on the east side of Telford and a planter wall along STAR market.

image

The new traffic signal is installed and nearly operational

image

McDonald's landscaping work

Concrete Garage Structure Progressing

Over the holidays, JMA, J. Derenzo Co. (site contractor) and J.L. Marshall (concrete) continued progress on the garage structure.  Excavation is nearing an end as soil removal will finish near the end of the month.  As the excavation bottom has become available, formwork and reinforcing rebar has been placed and concrete foundations have been poured.  Nearly three-quarters of the perimeter footings are complete. 

Above the footings, nearly a third of the garage walls have already been completed.  The garage work continues to benefit from the mild winter weather (until today!) and JMA aims to begin installing the garage deck steel in March.

The photos below captured the garage structural work on site today…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Telford Street Open to Traffic

Having completed site grading and paving and the completion of the STAR market facade, the new Telford Street extension from Western Avenue to Holton Street is open to the public.  This marks an important milestone for the development and the neighborhood. 

What is done: earth grading, paving of the first two pavement layers, road striping, east (Brighton Mills) side curbing, temporary asphalt sidewalk, temporary site lighting

What remains to be done in the spring: finish paving, road & bike lane striping, permanent lighting, street trees and landscaping

In 2013, the west (Charlesview) side improvements will be installed as the development nears completion.  In the meantime, the newly opened road segment will allow for safe vehicle and pedestrian access to the neighborhood.

Responsiveness to Community Concerns

As construction activity continues to ramp up on the site, a few neighbors have recently raised some concerns about the impact of some aspects of construction in the neighborhood.  While the construction of 450,000 square feet of new buildings in an active residential and commercial area is impossible to completely conceal, the developer and builder have taken several steps to respond to these concerns:

Construction Dust

Much of the recently excavated earth is being kept on the site to re-use as backfill.  This saves the immense cost and waste of hauling dirt away, only to bring more in later.  As of last week, however, there was a substantial amount of stockpiled earth piled high on the site, exposing it to the wind. 

Response: the site contractor has cut the piles to half their height and covered them with anchored plastic sheeting.  JMA has installed dust monitors at the residential perimeters of the site to track any airborne dust.  Any exposed areas of dirt will be kept wet, as needed.

Safe Access for Vehicles and Pedestrians

During the simultaneous construction of Charlesview and the new McDonald’s restaurant, we have worked to maintain continual access to Brighton Mills.  During the latter stages of Telford Street construction, that access has shifted many times, sometimes without adequate wayfinding.

Response: while the repeated shifts of the past few weeks have been necessary, they are coming to an end.  As of this week, permanent access to the reconfigured STAR market parking area will be opened to the public, via the northern half of the Telford Street extension and a new sidewalk (asphalt until the concrete sidewalk is installed in the spring).  Clear, safe public access is restored.  By the end of the month, the full length of Telford Street will be open to foot and car traffic, and after the first of the year, a new traffic signal will ease movement around the Telford & Western intersection.

Truck Routing

With dozens of truck trips every day coming and going from the site carrying away excavated soil and delivering concrete and steel, the occassional construction truck has been seen on North Harvard and Cambridge Streets (off the Construction Management Plan route).  Both the neighborhood and the develoopment team recognize that keeping trucks off neighborhood streets is a priority. 

Response: JMA has posted signs at site exits prohibiting the use of North Harvard Street.  They regularly map out the proper route through posted signs, hand-out flyers and weekly coordination meetings.  They will spot check their own haulers by personally monitoring North Harvard traffic occassionally during delivery hours.

With independent haulers on the job, including many new ones every week, we must remain vigilent, and so TCB and JMA are working to do more, instituting more frequent notices and reminders to subcontractors, and instituting financial penalties for noncompliance.  

 

The development team continues to appreciate the community’s support of this major construction effort, and we are always open to concerns and suggestions to ease the impact of the construction process; if you have any, please contact us.

Hitting Bottom

The Garage Excavation begins to reach the bottom in portions of the site

Excavation continues for the parking garage, with a constant flow of trucks hauling excavated dirt away to disposal facilities.  But certain areas have reached the bottom of the garage excavation and are ready to begin setting the first concrete foundations.  The concrete subcontractor, JL Marshall & Sons, will be coordinating with JMA and the site subcontractor to set the first forms and start pouring concrete, likely early next week, weather depending.

The installation of the foundations and garage slab is expected to take about 3 months.  By March, we hope to be erecting the garage deck.

Note that the Telford Street opening will likely occur a week or two from now, a slight delay from this previous post.  This is due to some additional coordination of grading and paving to ensure that Telford Street, the new McDonalds, and the existing STAR market parking lot all come together as smoothly as possible.

Telford Street Opening to Traffic Soon

JMA and the site contractor J. Derenzo & Co. have been working the past few weeks to complete the new Telford Street Extension and open it up to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  The north end of the roadway opened a few weeks ago, but temporarily routed to the STAR market parking lot.  Sometime in the next two weeks, the full length of Telford Street will be open to traffic from Holton Street to Western and on up to Soldiers Field Road.  This will allow for the best connectivity between the residential neighborhood and Western Avenue since before Brighton Mills was built.

The site contractor is laying new granite curb along the roadway’s eastern side, and will soon begin pouring a new public sidewalk.  The small plaza, reconfigured parking area, and new STAR market exterior wall are finishing up, as well.  The newly reshaped area should be more inviting to walk-up customers while remaining convenient for drivers.

Aerial view of the first layer of pavement going on the middle section of Telford Street

 

Workers spread hot asphalt to prepare for the roller along the new section of Telford Street

More work remains to be done: landscaping, street trees and new street lights will be installed next year (the old parking lot lights will be used for temporary lighting in the interim).  The western curb and sidewalk will remain unfinished and behind the project construction fence until 2013.  In the meantime the opening of Telford Street is an important construction milestone for the neighborhood and the project, and on this week in particular, for that we give thanks.