Advocates Celebrate Groundbreaking for Path Linking Watertown to Fresh Pond

The contingent from Watertown scoops a ceremonial shovel full of dirt at the groundbreaking for the Cambridge-Watertown Greenway Phase 2. Pictured, from left, longtime advocates Janet Jameson and Deborah Peterson, Assistant Town Manager Steve Magoon, State Rep. Jonathan Hecht, Town Councilor Lisa Feltner, Senior Planner Gideon Schreiber, and Senior Transportation Planner Laura Wiener. Photo by Charlie Breitrose

People from Watertown and Cambridge gathered near Fresh Pond on a chilly morning to celebrate the beginning of construction of a path many years in the making that completes an important link between the Charles River to other path networks. Wednesday’s groundbreaking for the Cambridge-Watertown Greenway Phase 2 came 35 years after a pair of Watertown residents began advocating for the path that can be used by bicyclists, walkers and runners to get from East Watertown to Fresh Pond and link up to other major bike and pedestrian paths. The project will create a 16 foot wide, landscaped path along the former railroad bed from Fresh Pond to Arlington Street in Watertown.

Lane Closures on Charles River Road Overnight Through Mid Next Week

The Town of Watertown released the announcement from the Department of Conservation and Recreation:

Starting tonight, Thursday, August 9, 2018, and continuing through Wednesday, August 15, 2018, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will implement some lane closures along Charles River Road in the Town of Watertown from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. to accommodate pavement markings operations. Work is dependent on weather, and is not likely to occur on all seven days. While pavement markings are being placed, some noise will be generated as it is applied to the roadway surface. Traffic patterns will be clearly visible and a police detail will be on site. WHERE: Charles River Road in the Town of Watertown

WHEN: Thursday, August 9, 2018 – Wednesday, August 15, 2018 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

Changes Coming to Charles River Road, Including New Crosswalks, Re-striping of Road

Changes Coming to Charles River Road, Including New Crosswalks, Re-striping of Road

A representative from the Department of Conservation and Recreation visited Charles River Road last week to speak with neighbors about how to make the newly repaved roadway safer, including adding more crosswalks. The tour was organized by State Sen. Will Brownsberger and State Rep. Jonathan Hecht. The goal of the re-striping is to increase the connections to between the neighborhood, the Charles River, the Riverside Park, as well as slowing traffic, said Jeffrey Parenti, Deputy Chief Engineer of the DCR’s Division of Planning and Engineering. After the new striping, there will be some changes to Charles River Road. The roadway will remain one lane in each direction for motor vehicles, and there will bebike lanes in each direction.

DCR Holding Walk Through of Proposed Re-striping of Charles River Road

The following information was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger’s Office:

Senator Will Brownsberger and Representative Jon Hecht have arranged a walkthrough of Charles River Road with DCR to review the agency’s proposed plans for re-striping the newly paved road. DCR’s Deputy Chief Engineer, Jeff Parenti, will be on-site to answer questions and take input. The event is open to the public. WHEN: Wednesday, June 27 at 8:30 a.m.

WHERE: Meet at Charles River Road opposite of Irving Street (red star on map above)

Please don’t hesitate to follow-up directly, at 617-722-1280, with any questions or concerns you may have. Hope to see you there!

Watertown-Cambridge Greenway Construction Schedule Announced

The last section of the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway, a bike and pedestrian path, will begin construction in late summer or early fall. 

A letter sent out by Leo Roy, commissioner of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), announced that the project will begin soon, and will create 1.25 miles of path along the former Boston & Maine Railroad tracks between Arlington Street/Nichols Avenue/Crawford Street intersection in Watertown and the entrance to the Cambridge Water Department at Fresh Pond. It will connect to the section already completed from Arlington Street to School Street in Watertown which is also referred to as the Community Path. “The trail will offer additional opportunities for transportation and passive and active recreation and physical activity, while promoting community and economic growth through increased connectivity,” Roy wrote. “The multi-use Greenway will provide an important regional connection linking the Charles River Path system, the Minuteman Bikeway, the Alewife Greenway and the Mystic River Reservation into an interconnected off-road pathway network.” The new section of the path will be 12 foot wide paved trail with two foot wide grass strips along both sides, according to the letter.

Installation of Replacement Pedestrian Bridge Across Charles River Begins

Sections of the new Joseph Thompson Pedestrian Bridge arrived Wednesday and will be lifted into place on Thursday morning, however it will still be a few weeks before people can meander across the new span. The bridge has been a topic of discussion and contention for many Watertown residents, especially those living close to the section of the river just west of Watertown Square. Originally planned to be in place by the end of 2017, the new bridge arrived Wednesday. Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy visited the construction site Wednesday afternoon as workers prepared the bridge to be lifted into place on Thursday morning. The project is part of the effort by the Baker-Polito Administration to allow more people to access parks and recreational areas around Massachusetts, Roy said.

Charles River Road Being Closed Temporarily, See When

The Department of Conservation and Recreation announced Charles River Road will be closed overnight for two evenings.DCR officials sent out the following release:
DCR Traffic Advisory: Charles River Road in Watertown
WHAT: Tonight, May 2, 2018, and tomorrow, May 3, 2018, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will implement a roadway closure along Charles River Road in the Town of Watertown between North Beacon Street and Watertown Square from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. to accommodate milling operations work. Abutters will be allowed access to their property. Additionally, traffic patterns will be clearly marked and a police detail will be on site. WHERE: Charles River Road in the Town of Watertown between North Beacon Street and Watertown Square
WHEN: Wednesday, May 2, 2018, and Thursday, May 3, 2018, 8:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.

See When the Pedestrian Bridge Over Charles River is Now Expected to be Installed

For some people, the pedestrian bridge over the Charles River was a nice option to avoid crossing over one of the other bridges that often clog with traffic, but others rely on it. 

Watertown resident David Caine told the Town Council at a recent meeting that his trip to the grocery story takes double the amount of time without the span. “Up until February when I got my groceries I could cross the footbridge,” Caine said. “Now it is gone. I was told the new bridge was expected to be installed in November. Since then I was told it was delayed.