Debris Removal from Jan. 14 fire at Hunting & Cambridge Streets to begin Mar. 7


Hunting and Cambridge St. Debris Removal

Beginning on Thursday, March 7th, the debris from the January 14, 2019 fire that occurred on the corner of Hunting and Cambridge Streets will be removed. The property owner has hired AG Contracting of Lowell to conduct the work, and it is estimated that the debris removal process will take 7-10 working days. The contractor will begin staging equipment and installing signage on March 8th.

The contractor and property owner have been working with the City of Cambridge to obtain the necessary permits.  Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is involved in the permitting and oversight process. Initial tests of building material came back negative for asbestos, and an inspector will be on-site at all times.

Once the project begins, a number of temporary traffic/parking changes will occur in the area. These include:

  • Parking on the even side of the street from where 6 Hunting was to Cambridge St. will be taken for the loading area. Where possible, the contractor will try to open up spots in the evening, with the exception of the spot in front of 6 Hunting where the small excavator will be stored. The three metered spots on Cambridge St. from Kimchi Kitchen to Hunting St. will also be taken 24/7 throughout the project.
  • A handicapped-accessible temporary curb ramp in front of Kimchi Kitchen will detour pedestrians into the bike lane. Barricades will be set up along the edge of the bike lane through the intersection of Hunting and Cambridge and they can get back to the sidewalk at 871 Cambridge St.
  • “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” and “Road Construction Ahead” signs will be placed at the corner of Cambridge St. and Harding St.
  • “Road Closed to Thru Traffic, Open to Abutters” will go at Hunting St. and South St.

There are 3 general stages for this project:


The contractor is required to obtain all necessary permits and approvals from the City of Cambridge prior to removing the debris. The following City Departments are involved in the coordination of this project: Inspectional Services Department, Department of Public Works, Traffic, Parking & Transportation, Police Department, Water Department, and City Manager’s Office. Additionally, the MassDEP has granted approval

Removing Debris: (7-10 days expected duration)

The debris will be loaded directly onto a truck by an excavator located within job site property lines. Each truck will be located in a loading area on Hunting Street, next to the site. There will be no additional truck staging permitted at the site or on Cambridge or Hunting Streets. During the loading process, debris will be wetted by a fire hose to prevent dust. MassDEP inspectors will be onsite during the removal process.

It is estimated that there will be 6 loads of debris removed each day. Only one truck will be onsite at a time.

To remove the final loads of debris, a smaller excavator will need to operate from the corner of Hunting Street until the basement is free and clear of all debris. The smaller excavator will be parked along the curb on the 6 Hunting Street side of the street during non-work hours to allow Hunting Street to be re-opened during non-work hours.

Throughout this project, the work hours will be from 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Each day, the streets and sidewalks in the area will be swept clean of debris, and the site will be secured by temporary construction fence.

    Trucking Information during Debris Removal:

    The trucks being used to remove the debris will use the following procedure:
  • Truck Route to the Job Site: Each truck will enter Cambridge Street via the Gilmore Bridge from Charlestown and proceed on Cambridge Street. Once the vehicle reaches 851 Cambridge Street, it will turn right onto Hunting Street and will get loaded from within the designated loading area. Only one truck will be onsite at a time.
  • Truck Route leaving job: After a truck is loaded with debris, it will be covered and tarped. The truck will proceed down Hunting Street (counterflow direction) to the end turning left onto South Street in Somerville and then turning right on to Webster Avenue. The vehicles will then proceed to I-93.
  • Truck Staging Area: Trucks waiting to be loaded will be staged in Charlestown until needed at the site for loading. No trucks will be permitted to be staged on Cambridge Street.


Once the work is completed, the small excavator will be removed from Hunting Street within 24 hours. The street and sidewalks will receive a final sweeping. A permanent fence will be erected by the property owner. The fencing will be drilled into the foundation walls leaving the full width of the sidewalk open to pedestrians.

City Departments are working to ensure there are minimal disruptions to business and residents in the area, however, we do recognize this project will be an inconvenience to the neighborhood. Signs for parking or traffic restrictions/changes will be posted at least 48 hours in advance. Residents or businesses with questions or concerns about this process can contact:

How can we help you? I'd like...

Service Requests

Commonwealth Connect Promo

Cambridge citizen requests, now online & on the go! Report issues here.


Have a question?
Find the answer in our extensive
Frequently Asked Questions

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