The state Department of Transportation has upgraded the status of the plan to rebuild Mass. Ave. in East Arlington to "Advertised," Adam Auster reported in his blog, "Word on the Street." That keeps the project on track for construction to begin next year, he wrote.
The change ends state and federal review of the design, he wrote. The approval was reported Saturday, Sept. 21, on Mass DOT’s project web page. For more >>
Boston.com, Sept. 23: Job going out to bid
Town news release, Sept. 23 >>
A state Department of Transportation spokesman told The Globe that the work is expected to begin by next summer and will likely take two years to complete.
The East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition, a supporter of the Mass. Ave. project, sent the following email Sunday, Sept. 22:
"[W]e've been waiting a long time for the opportunity to say that the Mass Ave Corridor planning and design process is finally OVER! The 100% plans and specifications have been approved by ALL state and federal authorities and was advertised for bid in the Globe yesterday.
"You can also see MassDOT's web site posting here (click on "Arlington", then look for #604687).
"This effort started over 250 long weeks ago at the first public meeting in early October 2008. Since then, there have been:
"* 2 MassDOT hearings
"* 7-8 Town of Arlington meetings
"* over a dozen Project Advisory Committee meetings
"* a handful of meetings with the business community
"* 4-5 Board of Selectmen meetings with Mass Ave on the agenda
"Throughout it all, EALS Coalition has been there to voice our support for the pedestrian/bicycle improvements and the three-lane plan in the face of sometimes-boisterous opponents and state and federal agencies that occasionally dragged their feet and slowed the process down.
"We could not have done it without the tremendous embrace of the project from the 300 of you on our e-mail list. We thank you for your multiple letters and e-mails, your placard waving and your testimony at public meetings and hearings.
"During the campaign against last April's ballot referendum, passionate volunteers came from throughout the Town and a large number of voters made clear their desire for a safer, slower, and more green Mass Ave in East Arlington. We know that the completion of the project sometime in 2015 will improve safety, enhance the business environment and maintain the high quality of life all Arlingtonians enjoy.
"Bids are due on the nearly $6 million project in January so keep your eyes open for bulldozers next spring. EALS will continue our work to improve walking and bicycling along Mass Ave throughout the Town and take on projects aimed to enhance safety and livability.
"Thanks again for all of your support!"
Eric Berger, long an opponent of the project, via the East Arlington Concerned Citizens Committee, has not reponded to a Sept. 23 request to comment.
Related links to Mass. Ave. project:
Word on the street, May 30, 2013: Mass. Ave. design clears state hurdle; U.S. decision awaited
This story was published Sunday. Sept. 22, 2013, and updated the next two days a well as Sept. 29.