Western Ave Reconstruction Project

Reconstruction of Western Ave between Green St and Memorial Dr

July 2015

This month, crews will be:

- performing curb restoration work due to winter damage
- constructing a raised crossings at Kinnaird Street, Dodge Street and Hews Street
- reconstructing Riverside Place
- final roadway paving is scheduled for August 2015


Spring 2015 Update

During the winter season, the City’s Contractor, D’Allessandro Corp., was limited to construction activities due to the record snow fall accumulations. With the warmer weather back in town, crews will be looking to complete the project over the summer and early fall months. Below is a list of construction activities that will take place prior to the completion of the project.

Remaining Activities:
• Reconstruction of Cronin Park
• Installation of raised intersection at Western/Pleasant/Auburn
• Landscaping throughout Western Avenue
o Tree plantings begin week of May 4
• Reconstruction of Riverside Place and the crosswalk on Western Avenue at Blackstone Street.
• Constructing of sidewalks along Green Street and Pleasant Street (north of Massachusetts Avenue)
• Installation of several raised crosswalks on side streets perpendicular to Western Avenue.
• Miscellaneous curb and sidewalk repairs
• Final roadway paving and line striping

Bicycle Rack Request
• The City of Cambridge provides bicycle parking throughout the city in order to support and encourage the use of bicycles as a mode of transportation. To request that a bicycle rack be placed on public property, please emailbikerack@cambridgema.gov or call 617-349-6012. We will send someone out to find a suitable location for a bike rack within several weeks of your request. However, sites for bike racks can be limited on narrow sidewalks due to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirement that a sufficient walkway be left open for people with disabilities. We will let you know of our findings, and send a letter to abutting building owners if and when we are preparing to install a rack. If we find a suitable location for a bike rack it would likely be installed later in the summer or this fall.”;

Construction on this project will take approximately two years to complete. Click here for overall phasing plan.

General work hours will be 7AM to 4 PM, Monday-Friday. “No Parking” signs will be posted at least 24 hours in advance of construction; please be sure to check posted signs for exact dates and times. When work occurs directly in front of driveways or entryways, the contractor will coordinate access directly with residents and businesses.

 The design process for the surface redesign of Western Avenue ran from January 2010 through 2011 and included eight Advisory Committee meetings, five neighborhood walks, and six public meetings. Five concept alternatives were developed to identify the full range of potential options for Western Avenue and extensive community feedback was taken into consideration. Click here to view details.

City staff will host additional discussions regarding the final design of the public art component. Please make sure to sign up for our email updates to receive notices for meetings.

Evaluation criteria was developed by city staff and the advisory committee to guide the design process:

• Traffic calming effect / vehicle speed reduction
• Pedestrian crossing safety
• Expanded sidewalk space
• Bicycle facility safety and comfort
• Bus operations and efficiency
• Rush hour vehicle capacity
• Parking availability
• Snow clearance and street cleaning
• Emergency vehicle access
• Construction cost
• Community support

Final Design Elements:
• Pleasant St to Blackstone St will have two vehicles travel lanes, parking on both sides, and a separated bicycle lane (raised cycle track).
• Pedestrian safety will be improved with raised crosswalks on (unsignalized) side streets, curb extensions, and new crosswalks.
• New trees, planting beds, trash / recycling containers, and energy efficient streetlights will be installed.
• Pedestrian crossings will be improved at Pleasant / Western / Franklin and at Blackstone.
• Cronin Park will be enlarged, landscaped, and include a rain garden.

Detailed information about the Western Ave design and planning process is posted here.

  • Sidewalk Reconstruction
  • Utility Work
  • Putnam_Western_Ave_Water_Main_Work
  • Charles River 7
  • Charles River
  • View from Western Ave Bridge
  • Charles River 5
  • Charles River 6
  • Charles River 9

Cambridge Department of Public Works
147 Hampshire Street

General construction hours are 7 AM to 4 PM

 Please contact Chris Neil, Community Relations Manager, at cneil@cambridgema.gov or at 617.349.4825 to:

  1. Sign up to receive e-mail updates as the project moves forward. 
  2. Arrange an accommodation or continuation of special services for anyone with a disability or special need.
  3. Learn how you can help street trees along the street , either by “adopting” a recently planted tree on your block (especially watering during dry weather), or by signing up for the “back-of-sidewalk” tree planting program, through which a tree can be planted on private property within 20 feet of the public sidewalk at no cost to the owner.

E-mail is not staffed 24/7.  In case of an emergency after hours or on weekends, please call the 24-Hour line at 617-349-4800.

We thank you for your patience during this construction, and hope that you enjoy these improvements once they are completed.

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8:00pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5:00pm
Friday: 8:30am-12 noon
24 Hour emergency 617.349.4860


Tuesday & Thursday: 4:00pm-7:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am-4:00pm

Owen O'Riordan