What’s happening on Rt. 9?

What, exactly, is going on these days along Rt. 9?  Well, CHA members, we have some information for you. The Q & A below provided by Michael Verseckes of Public Affairs at the Mass. Dept. of Transportation should answer all your questions and soothe you, should you unhappily become stuck in Rt. 9 traffic.

From the DOT:

The project consists of milling and resurfacing the section of Route 9 in Newton from the Wellesley line easterly to the area just west of Langley Road. The project includes guardrail improvements and sidewalk/handicapped ramp reconstruction. At this stage we have installed the first layer of new pavement throughout the project limits. The project was delayed for the majority of 2010 due to improvements that the gas company wanted to do in this area. We are presently working on reconstructing the median areas and installing new guardrail. There is fencing being installed in the area on top of guardrail in many areas of the project to restrict pedestrians from crossing the highway.

Is this project funded by the state or the city?

The $4.5 million project is being overseen MassDOT. The project is federally funded under the Surface Transportation Program which has an 80%/20% federal/state split.

Is this just in Newton?

Yes. It extends on a similar project recently completed in Brookline.

What is the timetable of the construction?

Work started in August 2009. The original completion date was 6/15/11. It was previously extended to 10/30/11 due to the gas line work. It is unclear if a further extension will be necessary to complete the work. If an extension does occur, it will likely take the project to late spring 2012.

How will this benefit Route 9?

The focus of the project is maintenance to return the roadway to its original condition, along with safety upgrades with the new guardrail and sidewalk/handicapped accessible ramps.

When was it decided to do this construction?

The contract was advertised in the fall of 2008. The project was developed ahead of that in response to the deteriorating pavement condition on the segment. It moved forward once funding was available.

Will this affect traffic at any point?

The majority of the work is being completed during the overnight hours Sunday- Thursday evenings. The contract has restrictions on night time lane closures when the Red Sox have home games. Thus far, the project has proceeded over the last year or so without significant traffic impacts.