Trucks Heading to Athenahealth Spread Across Five Routes, Some Along River

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The five routes trucks carrying material for the Athenahealth garage project will use through Watertown.

The five routes trucks carrying material for the Athenahealth garage project will use through Watertown.

Trucks carrying pre-cast concrete pieces bound for the Arsenal on the Charles for Athenahealth’s new garage will be spread out among five different routes in town after residents complained they were using a scenic roadway along the Charles River.

Two weeks ago, when large trucks began rolling down Charles River Road, neighbors let the company and the Department of Public Works know they were not happy. On Saturday, Public Works Superintendent Gerry Mee told the Town Council that after testing different routes, the trucks will use other routes, but some will still be using Charles River Road.

During the project, which is expected to go until Labor Day, nearly 1,000 truckloads will be delivered to the Arsenal on the Charles, according to a memo from general contractor C.E. Floyd Co. to the DPW. This includes 336 regular (53-foot) truck and trailers and 643 oversized loads in terms of weight and length (including 530 that are also over width).

The routes were tested on May 15, and no loads were allowed from May 16 to May 18, Mee said.

The routes will use the following roads through Watertown:

1A – Lexington Street south, east on Main Street to Watertown Square, east on Charles River Road to the site

1B – Same as 1A, but head east on North Beacon Street after the Square to get to the site

2A – South on Lexington Street, east on Orchard Street, south on Common Street, east on Mt. Auburn Street, south on Arlington Street, east on Arsenal Street, south on Greenough Boulevard, west on North Beacon Street to the site

2B – Same as 2A, but turn west on Mt. Auburn Street to Watertown Square then finish east on Charles River Road to the site

3 – Same as 2A, including going east on Mt. Auburn Street, but then turn east on Walnut Street, south on School Street, east on Arsenal Street, south on Greenough Street and west on North Beacon Street to the site.

C.E. Floyd projects 15-25 truckloads a day and they will use five routes, and the anticipated ratios are: 55-65 percent on Routes 1A/1B, 35-45 percent using Routes 2A/2B and 5-10 percent Route 3, according to the memo.

7 thoughts on “Trucks Heading to Athenahealth Spread Across Five Routes, Some Along River

  1. Good luck negotiating the corner of Walnut and School. That intersection is already jammed, and can hardly handle extra truck traffic.

  2. The announcement from Athena about oversize trucks was especially unwelcome to community members who have spent hours and hours in public meetings with Athena over the last few years. The issue of construction and truck routes came up several times and in the presence of elected town councilors, Athena stated that they would not use Charles River Road for truck traffic. Similarly, when questioned numerous times, Athena stated that they would only use the western corner of the property for emergency vehicles. Now both promises have been broken. Trucks are rolling down Charles River Road and the west corner of the lot is being used as an exit for these trucks.
    The worst part of this story is that all of these decisions happened behind closed doors, with announcements released to neighbors and TC officials only within days of the start of truck travel. Clearly, Athena knew months and months ago that pre-cast concrete would be used for construction, so they have known of this trucking issue for a long time. Evidently, some of Watertown’s planning department and the Watertown DPW were involved in negotiations, but there was absolutely no public or TC involvement.
    Walnut St is a bad idea, approaching on North Beacon from Watertown Sq. is a bad idea, trucks on Charles River Road are a bad idea. With proper planning and community input, Athena and our DPW could have come up with far better solutions, but as it stands, up to 90 % of the total truck traffic could end up on Charles River Road, a parkway where truck traffic has always been banned.

    • Yes, it is the most direct route. One of the reasons for the strange routes through town is that the trucks are too heavy to go over some bridges. I think the Galen Street Bridge might be one of them.

  3. These loads simply do not belong on Charles River Road. Where is our town government on this issue? The town should be regulating what is and what is not allowable with regard to heavy truck loads associated with these projects with the well being of the town and residents in mind. As always we should not be giving the developers and their contractors everything that they want.

  4. Joe, the town “government” is behind this decision. It’s Mayor McGoon and Deputy Mayor Mee making all the decisions behind closed doors with no public input.
    Everyone else is powerless or too clueless to realize it’s a problem.

    We need a charter review NOW.

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