After working out some minor details with the community over the summer, The City of Boston Transportation Department has begun preliminary construction on the $4 million project to rehab Central Square.
Beginning last week, construction crews began excavating portions of Meridian Street around the square and will continue working as long as weather allows.
The city is also committed to working with residents and business owners to minimize negative impacts during construction. Many business leaders in the community did not want to see a repeat of what had occurred in Maverick Square during the MBTA’s project to redevelop that square. There, the MBTA’s project went well beyond its projected completion date and many businesses that relied on foot and vehicular traffic suffered as a result.
This time around, the city plans to form an advisory committee made up of business owners. The group will brief the city on any problems or negative impacts should they arise as construction moves forward.
In August 2008, Menino announced the city would spend nearly $4 million on a new design for Central Square
The new design will include a reorganization of parking to improve access for businesses, new traffic signals at key intersections, shorter pedestrian crossings, and additional trees and landscaping.
The overhaul of Central Square is part of a wider Transportation Action Plan for Eastie. Several other initiatives are in the works as part of the plan like creating safer pedestrian crossings at several locations including the Umana School on Border Street and along Condor Street. There’s a plan to eliminate cut-through traffic on Bayswater Street, a redesign of the Saratoga Street and Chelsea Street intersection as well as coordination with private developments adjacent to Central Square.