Western Ave Reconstruction Project

Reconstruction of Western Ave between Green St and Memorial Dr

October 30, 2014

This Saturday, November 1, the City’s Contractor, D’Allessandro Corporation., will begin full-depth reconstruction at the intersection of River Street and Green Street. This work is associated with the Western Avenue Reconstruction Project and general work hours will be from 8AM – 6PM. Jackhammers, excavators and dump trucks will be on site, and crews will try to minimize noise when possible. During this closure, motorists traveling up River Street will be detoured at Franklin Street. Please click here for detour information. Emergency vehicles will maintain access at all times. Roadway paving operations for this intersection are expected to take place the week of November 3. Another notice will be circulated to the community once a paving date has been solidified.


October 20, 2014

There will be several crews on site this week working on the north side sidewalks and roadway on Western Avenue between Howard Street and Dodge Street. Beginning the Thursday, October 23 (weather permitting), crews will be reconstructing the sidewalks on the north side of Western Avenue between Riverside Place and Memorial Drive. While crews work near the Memorial Drive intersection, Western Avenue will be reduced to 2 lanes of travel during general work hours (7am-4pm, Monday through Friday). This work is expected to be completed within 2 weeks.


October 13, 2014

There will be several crews on site this week working on the north side sidewalks and roadway on Western Avenue between Jay Street and Howard Street.


September 25, 2014

On Monday, September 29, 2014, the City’s contractor, D’Allessandro Corporation will be performing water main work at the corner of Western Avenue and Blackstone Street. This work is in connection with the Western Ave Reconstruction Project. There will be a temporary water service interruption in order to facilitate upgrades to the water main and Blackstone Street residents will have no water service to their property between 6PM and 2AM. During this work, motorists will need to enter/exit Blackstone Street via River Street, as Blackstone Street will be closed at Western Avenue. Noise will occur in the immediate area from saws and other equipment. We will make every effort to expedite this work in order to limit the amount of noise generated, as well as the length of time the water will be shut down. Should poor weather conditions arrive Monday evening, this work will take place Tuesday evening between 6PM and 2AM.

Also note that after the water is restored, Blackstone Street residents may notice some discoloration to the water. We recommend you run your cold water until clear before consumption or doing laundry.

If you have any questions about the construction work or need assistance during this service interruption, including if you have any special needs or disability that requires a special accommodation, please contact Don Livramento from D’Allessandro Corporation at 617- 413- 2104. In case of emergency please call Cambridge Water Department 24 hour number, at 617-349-4770.


September 23, 2014

Due to heavy volumes of traffic, roadway paving on Western Avenue will continue until 6pm this evening.







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