The design process for the River Street project began in November 2018 with data collection - topographic survey, street user counts, parking counts, and so on. Utility companies began work on River Street in 2020. The redesign of the River Street corridor finished in 2021 and Carl Barron Plaza in 2022. The street and municipal utility construction began in 2022.
We listed events and activities for this project below.
November 17 The City held a Tree Hearing to consider the removal of 34 public trees as part of the River Street Project.
July The City selected P. Gioiso & Sons, Inc. as the contractor for the River Street Reconstruction project. They began to organize and schedule workers, equipment, and materials to begin construction later in 2022.
March The project team continued to finalize engineering and other design plans in order to request bids in spring 2022.
November 17 The project team hosted the twelfth meeting of the River Street Reconstruction working group. The project team presented a review of an updated and refined design for Carl Barron Plaza. Click here to view the presentation. Click here to view the meeting summary.
July 30 The project team summarized the input that we received during the comment period for the Carl Barron Plaza design concepts. Click here to view the summary of public comments.
June 30 We closed the public comment forms on the feedback webpage. The project video remains available to watch. Click here to view project video.
June 22 We held a Q&A public information session.
June 16 We launched a public feedback opportunity for Carl Barron Plaza design concepts. Click here to visit the feedback webpage.
May 6 Tenth working group meeting held with remote participation. Click here to view the meeting presentation in PDF format.
We continued development of the Carl Barron Plaza conceptual designs and adjusted corridor designs based on public feedback.
November 22 We closed the comment forms and mapping tools on the open house webpage. Click here to view the open house webpage in an archived format. Send an e-mail with additional comments or questions to RiverStreet@CambridgeMA.gov.
October 29 We hosted question and answer information session with remote participation through Zoom with closed captioning. Click here to see a summary of questions and answers.
October 27 We launched virtual open house website to get feedback. Click here to see virtual open house.
Late August Project team posted 25% designs for the corridor. Click here to see 25% design plans.
August 18 Tenth working group meeting held with remote participation. Click here to see presentation.
July 22 Ninth Working Group meeting held with remote participation. Click here to see presentation.
June 22 Eversource Gas began construction on the River Street corridor. Click here to view notice.
March 13 The City of Cambridge cancelled or postponed all non-regulatory public meetings through May 31, 2020. This included all public engagement activities for the River Street project.
Mid-February Project team sent a winter update e-mail. Click here to see the project update e-mail.
December 17 Eighth Working Group meeting at Manning Apartments
November 19 Second public meeting at the Putnam Upper School
October 22 Seventh Working Group meeting at Manning Apartments
September 24 Sixth Working Group meeting at the Manning Apartments
July 17 Fifth Working Group meeting at the Manning Apartments
June 11 Public site walk - Urban design and local businesses
June 8 Outdoor public event - Existing conditions at Carl Barron Plaza
June 5 Open house event - Existing conditions at Carl Barron Plaza
May 28 Fourth Working Group meeting at the Manning Apartments
May 14 Public site walk - Mobility and safety
April 23 Third Working Group meeting at Manning Apartments.
March 26 First community meeting at Cambridge Community Center
March We launched a public input map
February 26 Second working group meeting at Manning Apartments
January 29 First working group meeting at Manning Apartments
December City appointed members to a working group. This group represented a cross-section of resident and business interests in the corridor, as well as representatives from relevant advisory committees.
November The City entered into a contract with a design team led by HDR Engineering, Inc. of Boston, MA for the planning and design of the project. The project team includes the following companies:
- HDR Engineering, Inc. manages the Project and provide surface and subsurface engineering, and Green Infrastructure design
- Halvorson Design Partnership lead for urban design, landscape architecture, and public art coordination
- McMahon Associates Inc. lead for transportation engineering and analysis, and community outreach
- Project for Public Spaces support the community outreach process, and lead community design charrettes for Carl Barron Plaza and related elements of Central Square
October City staff conducted interviews with applicants to the River Street Working Group.
September-October City staff reviewed proposals and conducted interviews with prospective design consultant teams.
The River Street Reconstruction project will rebuild River Street from Memorial Drive to Massachusetts Avenue. Earlier in 2022, we finished designs for this project and selected P. Gioiso & Sons as the general contractor for rebuilding the street, plazas, and utilities. This project created a new design for:
- River Street, from Memorial Drive to Massachusetts Avenue
- Bus terminal area at River and Magazine Streets
- Tubman square at River and Pleasant Streets
- Carl Barron Plaza, the pedestrian space in front of the Amazon, Cambridge Savings Bank, and Holmes building entrance
The City's goals for the redesign of River Street included:
- To the extent necessary, build new sanitary sewers, stormwater, and water infrastructure to ensure adequate utility levels of service. Parts of the underground utilities are more than 100 years old and need replacement.
- Build a new street that with a design for all people moving along the street safely, provides spaces for activity near small businesses, and improves crossings
- Redesign Carl Barron Plaza, the significant open space at the heart of Central Square.
We had a robust community engagement process to develop the new design of River Street. This included:
- A project working group that had residents, business representatives, and neighborhood group representatives with 12 working group meetings
- Presentations to community-based groups, city advisory committees, and city council committees
- Two in-person community meetings and two online question-and-answer public information sessions
- Two project walks
- Two open house/outdoor events
- Visits with individual businesses and neighbors
- Flyering with information about community meetings
In order to give members of the Cambridge community information and opportunities for feedback on this project, we also created:
- Project webpage
- E-mail newsletter
- Virtual open houses
- Online public input maps
- Online comment forms
Click the “Working Group” and “Documents” tabs to see project documents and materials.
The City presented final conceptual designs in 2021 to our project working group. Click the links below to see the presentations and designs in PDF format: