Western Ave Reconstruction Project

Reconstruction of Western Ave between Green St and Memorial Dr

August 2015

In association with the Western Avenue Reconstruction Project, the City’s Contractor, D’Allessandro Corp., will be paving Western Avenue Friday, August 7 through Sunday, August 9 (weather permitting). Due to the amount of paving that needs to take place, the operation has been broken up into several different phases. Please see below as to what area residents and business owners can expect during this operation.

What to Expect During Construction
- General work hours will be 6am-8pm
- Detour maps for all phases of the work are located under the "Documents" tab.
- On Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9, there will be no parking on Western Avenue and residents with driveways on Western Avenue will not have access during general work hours.
- To ensure that detour routes are unobstructed, “No Parking” signs will be placed on most detour routes.
- MBTA bus schedules and stops will be effected. Please log on to MBTA.com to receive the most up-to-date information regarding changes to the bus schedules/routes.
- Sidewalks will remain open at all times.
- State Police and Cambridge Police officers will be on site to assist with traffic management.
- Please note that construction activity timeframe and detour routes are subject to change, so we encourage all users of the roadway to watch for signage and police officers.

Harvard University has offered to provide some alternative parking for residents to utilize during roadway paving operations to help mitigate some of the impacts of construction. Harvard will reserve a limited amount of spaces (first come – first served basis) in their Peabody Terrace Garage (entrance on Elmer Street). Residents interested in taking advantage of the parking will need to visit the Harvard Parking Office (617-496-7827). The Parking Office is located within the Campus Service Center, 8th floor of Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center), 1350 Massachusetts Avenue. Please call ahead of time to ensure that you provide all necessary paperwork.

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