One can’t help but marvel at the 20-plus story casino tower and resort coming to life across the Mystic River in Everett while passing by, but it will likely be the massive amounts of road construction that will become more prominent this summer as the casino puts the pedal to the metal to get off-site transportation projects completed – including the improvements to Sullivan Square.
For decades, if not generations, the stretch connecting Charlestown to Somerville and Everett has been an industrial graveyard, but Sullivan Square and several other locations will be the epicenter of a traffic revival this summer – with all intentions of completing the enormous amounts of work by November.
That means things are going to be very hectic on Sullivan Square, Lower Broadway in Everett, Sweetser Circle in Everett, Santilli Circle in Everett, Wellington Circle in Medford, and to an extent, two locations in Chelsea on Rt. 16.
Already, work has begun on Sullivan Square – and it is but one of many projects in the area. Already, MassDOT labeled the Charlestown area as the top construction “hot spot” this season. Other projects include the Eversource Woburn Line project (which is now is Sullivan Square), the Mystic/Tobin Bridge, the Alford Street Bridge, the North Washington Street Bridge, the Cambridge (Prison Point) Bridge, and now the Encore Boston Harbor work.
“Sullivan Square improvements have started and there will be noticeable changes starting next week, with it really changing by September,” said Al Carrier of Wynn Design and Development. “We have to get all of this done this construction season. The push is to get it done this construction season because we have to have a lot of reviews and everything has to be accepted before we can open. We want to use the spring of 2019 for fallback items, little things. We don’t want to do any major paving in 2019, so we really want to get it done.”
DW White is completing the work on Sullivan Square – as opposed to Feeney Brothers, which is working for the separate Eversource project.
Right now, major work is beginning at Sullivan Station, where they are reconfiguring the bus lanes and opening a new road there.
Already, a third bus lane has been called for as a change, and Encore is drilling mini-piles at the station to extend the retaining wall.
Improvements that are now underway include some major work in reconfiguring Cambridge Street. The I-93 ramp is going to have an additional right turning lane, and that will empty into a new signalized intersection at Spice Street.
Spice Street and D Street will be improved so that those headed inbound on Rutherford Avenue will be able to get there without going through the Square. Meanwhile, the current bus-only road in front of the Station parking lot will be opened to traffic on the opposite side of Spice Street. It will connect with Maffa Way, and there will be three new signals in that area placed.
On the Square, the existing lights will be re-timed, and there will be landscaping and pedestrian/cyclist improvements made there.
A Rapid Flashing Beacon sign will be placed at Schrafft’s to help make walking in that area safer.