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.

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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.

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The new traffic signal is installed and nearly operational

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McDonald's landscaping work

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.