Central Sq. Project Ready to Go out to Bid

After nearly two years of waiting, the $4 million project to rehab Central Square will be sent out to bid this week. The project was to be shovel ready in 2010 after then Mayor Thomas Menino announced the rehab plan in 2008.

At the last community meeting last April, Boston Transportation Department (BTD) officials said the project would break ground in the fall of 2013 after telling the community bids had already been sent out. However, according to BTD’s Vineet Gupta, the project will most likely not begin until fall 2014.

“We finished the design two years ago,” said Gupta. “Since that time we have been taking the concepts and working out minor details to accommodate the design the community had asked for.”

In August 2008, Menino announced the city would spend $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.

In addition, the city is expanding the Resident Parking Program in East Boston in an effort to prevent commuter and airport parkers from monopolizing the limited on-street parking spaces in the neighborhood.

In fall 2008, the parallel parking on Sumner Street was replaced by angle parking to provide approximately 60 new spaces for residents.

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