Western Ave Reconstruction Project

Reconstruction of Western Ave between Green St and Memorial Dr

August 18, 2014

This week, two crews continue to perform sidewalk work on Western Avenue between Soden Street and Dodge Street.


July 28, 2014

Crews continue to work on the sidewalks on the south side of the street between Soden Street and Dodge Street. Another crew is renovating Cronin Park.


July 17, 2014

In association with the Western Avenue Reconstruction Project, the city’s contractor, D’Allessandro Corp., is expected to install crosswalk markings along Western Avenue between Green Street and Pleasant Street. Due to the high volume of cars that utilize Western Avenue, this work will need to begin at 5am on Tuesday, July 22. The final roadway paving for the Western Avenue project is scheduled to be completed by summer 2015, and we feel that it is important to ensure pedestrian safety for the duration of the project.

What to expect during construction

• Crews will be on site to begin the work at 5AM on Tuesday, July 22. The work on Western Ave should be completed before 7AM. Should any poor inclement weather arrive, crews will postpone the work until 5am on Wednesday, July 23.

• “No Parking” signs will be posted at least 24 hours in advance of construction. Please be sure to check posted signs for exact date and times.

• Noise generated from this work will be the sprayer for the painting equipment and is relatively quiet. Crews have been told not to use the backup alarms until after 7AM.



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.

Alternative Parking:
Harvard University has offered to provide some parking that residents can use on evenings and weekends to help mitigate some of the impacts of construction. Harvard will reserve 20 spaces in their Peabody Terrace Garage (entrance on Elmer Street) for residents to use weekday evenings (5 pm to 8 am) and weekends. Residents interested in taking advantage of the parking should call the Harvard Mitigation Office (617-496-0857) to receive a transponder that will allow access to the parking garage.

  • 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.
  4. Volunteer to become a “Block Captain” for the Western Avenue Project . Block Captains will be asked to attend monthly meetings with project staff to make the City and contractor aware of concerns in the neighborhood and to become a resource for neighbors who want information or assistance during this project.

Follow us on Twitter via #WesternAveMA

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

If you have any questions regarding the Western Ave design, please contact Jeff Rosenblum, Project Manager, at 617.349.4615 or jrosenblum@cambridgema.gov .  Detailed information about the design and planning process is posted here.

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