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City to redo Mass. Avenue

Massachusetts Avenue is getting a makeover.

The City of Cambridge announced plans to redo Massachusetts Avenue from Memorial Drive to Central Square, focusing a good deal of effort on Lafayette Square at the intersection of Main and Columbia streets. The project will begin later this month and is expected to take about a year and a half to complete.

During construction, crews will keep two lanes of traffic (one in each direction) open at all times. Crosswalks and bus stops will be operational, but may shift location from time to time.

The project has several goals, including improvement in safety for all modes of transportation--bicycle, vehicle and pedestrian--and beautification and improved functionality.

The city will repave the road. Sidewalks will be paved with cement and a decorative brick edging, bicycle lanes will be added, and current street lighting will be replaced by historic reproductions from 1907.

The overhaul planned for Lafayette Square includes a new traffic signal and crosswalks at the Landsdowne Street intersection, and a landscaped community plaza with benches, tables, trees and attractive walkways.

Construction will take place from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. On rare occasions, work may go later, but never past 7 p.m., a city spokesperson said. No construction work will occur on weekends or holidays.

The initial work of excavating the roadway was scheduled to begin in February, but was delayed because of snow. City officials expect the work to be complete by September 2006.

Community members with questions or problems about the project may contact the City of Cambridge's Department of Public Works Community Relations Manager Rebecca Fuentes at (617) 349-6948. For further information, see the city's web site at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 2, 2005 (download PDF).

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