$4M Central Square Upgrade Almost Shovel Ready

A working blueprint of the new Central Square Park and surrounding streets.

The City of Boston Transportation Department worked out some minor details with the community last week regarding the redevelopment of Central Square.

At a community meeting last Tuesday, City of Boston Director of Planning Vineet Gupta said that based on months of community input the City of Boston is comfortable with the design of the proposed $4 million rehab to Central Square.

At last week’s meeting, the sixth in a series of community input meeting regarding the overhaul of the square, the city and community reached a consensus on the square’s design. However, the community and city are still working on some details like what type of street lighting residents would like to see in the square. The community also engaged the city on several ideas for displaying the name of the park in a prominent manner.

One plan that was being floated around a previous community meetings was to make Bennington Street a one way heading out of the square northbound and then becoming a two-way street again at Marion Street. The city said this would force southbound Bennington Street traffic to divert onto London Street via a left turn and then onto Porter Street via a right turn in order to get into the square from the north. “That plan is no longer considered,” said Gupta. “All traffic heading in and out of the square will remain the same with the exception of the two streets that border the square.”

Gupta said that both Meridian and Border Streets would remain two-way streets but the street in front of the East Boston Social Centers would become a one way from Meridian to Border Street. On the opposite end of the park a short section of Saratoga Street would become one-way from Border to Meridian Street.

“This will keep traffic flowing in a circular manner around the square,” said Gupta.

Gupta said 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.

“There will be some disturbances during construction,” said Gupta. “But we will work hard to minimize these impacts and ensure that the quality of life for residents and businesses owners does not suffer.”

The project has already been put out to bid and Gupta said construction of the square could begin as early as fall of 2012.

In August 2008, Menino announced the city would spend nearly $4 million on a new design for Central Square and has already added new angle parking on Sumner Street for local residents.

3 comments for “$4M Central Square Upgrade Almost Shovel Ready

  1. Phowes117
    April 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    $4,000,000 for concrete, blacktop and a few trees. Looks exactly as before with no bicycle lanes. Great to be a contractor with city connections. Nothing to show any progress of thought for the future.

  2. Atmclansite
    April 12, 2012 at 6:55 am

    I think Eastie is heading toward the right direction. The city sees the potential it has and is investing in the future of Eastie. That are needs some work and I think the money will be well spent. Just look at what they have done to Piers Park. Nothing but good things to come for Eastie!

  3. Celticswin
    April 12, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I agree, East Boston is on the up. I’m glad the city is seeing the potential it has to offer. Homes in Charlestown right across the water are going for 2-5 times the cost of a comparable place in Eastie. Charlestown’s Waterfront Navy Yard is very clean along the water, Eastie’s waterfront area across the way is in need for some serious modeling.  Just look at South Boston and Charlestown, both made a big comeback. Eastie is the only one left to shine. 

    With Piers Park additions and now Central Square, the only thing left for East Boston to do is  convert some of the old triple deckers and historical single family houses into condo’s in places such as Border Street and Meridian Street. It seems to me that this has already begun as I have seen several condo’s for sale on these streets over the past year. Eagle Hill will hopefully turn around. 

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