What a Difference a Year Makes

It’s been exactly one year since the formal start of construction, and the site has gone through a dramatic transformation as we’ve moved through demolition, excavation, foundations and steel.  The vision of a dynamic, mixed use Charlesview in north Brighton becomes clearer every day.

Click image to enlarge.



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…

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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.

Building Demo Complete, Work Moves Below Grade

Buildings removed, workers perform subgrade demo and prepare for excavation.

As September winds to a close, both buildings have been completely demolished.  The focus shifts to the two fall priorities: preparing for excavation for the underground garage, and extending Telford Street across Western Ave all the way to Holton Street.

Providing parking for 240 cars underground will allow the new development to meet the density goals of the Community-Wide Plan without burdening the surrounding neighborhood’s on-street parking.  But building a 110,000 square foot garage beneath six future buildings and a new street requires several important construction steps.  First, the neighborhood’s drainage must be re-routed around the new garage to the Western Ave main stormwater main.  Then metal sheeting must be installed around the perimeter to stabilize the surrounding earth while excavators dig the hole for the garage so the structure can be built.  The process will last through most of the winter.

To prepare for the construction of the Telford Street Extension, new drainage infrastructure, manholes and catch basins are being installed.  The newly exposed wall of STAR market–which formerly separated STAR from Frugal Fannies–will be covered by a new exterior wall and a raised planter.  As we move closer through October into November, observers will see the new street come into shape, lined by sidewalks, streetlights and trees. 

The extension of Telford Street is especially important for the neighborhood, as it will create a new public access between the site and Brighton Mills.  This is good for construction, as work will proceed more efficiently inside a closed site.  But this is especially good for the neighborhood, as it will create a safe, permanent access for cars, bikes and pedestrians to get to Brighton Mills and Western Ave.  The Telford Street extension is scheduled to open before the end of year.