A reader recently wrote to us asking: “Can you please tell us what is happening at the intersection of Route 9 and Cedar Street – there is a trailer truck marked ‘construction’ and other vehicles on the grassy areas along the ‘off-ramp roads’ on the north side of Route 9. They’ve also put up low ‘barriers” along the curbing.’
Assistant Town Engineer Douglas Stewart of the DPW provided us with an answer: “As you mentioned in your email, the site is the same site where the Cedar Street Bridge was replaced a couple of summers ago. The project is a MassDOT project and the purpose of it is to construct stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP’s) along the Route 9 westbound ramps at Cedar Street. The project involves the installation of two stormwater infiltration basins, one water quality swale, and associated grading, landscaping, and utilities.” The project is being handled by Newport Construction, under the direction of MassDOT.
While we had Stewart, we asked about the Wales Street Bridge project, which under Article 15 at the 2013 Annual Town Meeting, Wellesley agreed to spend $400,000 on. The Wales Street Bridge is located at the end of Walnut Street and crosses the Charles River at the Wellesley/Newton line, and Wellesley and Newton share equally the cost of maintaining this bridge. Stewart says the Wales Street Bridge project is in the final design and permitting phase.
According to Stewart: “A prior routine inspection of the bridge arch conducted by MassDOT identified the need for improvements to the bridge including the installation of approach guardrail and bridge railing transitions that meet current MassDOT design criteria. Bridge railings must be raised to meet current safety standards and to match the proposed highway guardrail transitions. In addition, the existing bridge railings, which are simple stone parapets, do not meet current requirements for impact resistance. The bridge railings will be retrofitted to meet current height requirements as part of the height retrofit design. Other project work will include the removal and replacement of concrete sidewalks on the bridge, the cold planing and overlay of the street surface approaches to the bridge, and the construction of about 100 feet of new bituminous concrete sidewalks on the west side of Walnut Street to fill a gap in the existing sidewalk network.”