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Downpour Delays Mount Auburn Street Construction

Traffic maneuvers around plastic cones on Mount Auburn St. Wednesday’s downpour delayed road construction.
Traffic maneuvers around plastic cones on Mount Auburn St. Wednesday’s downpour delayed road construction.
By Jonah S. Lefkoe, Contributing Writer

Pedestrian traffic has been re-routed and motor vehicles limited to one lane of travel to make way for Cambridge Department of Public Works’ fall repairs and improvements on Mount Auburn Street sidewalks and roadways.

Traffic maneuvers around plastic cones on Mount Auburn St. Wednesday’s downpour delayed road construction.
Traffic maneuvers around plastic cones on Mount Auburn St. Wednesday’s downpour delayed road construction. By Eleanor K. Lieberman

Paving, scheduled for Wednesday, was suspended due to inclement weather, as rain doused Cambridge that day.

“The motivation for this project was the badly deteriorated condition of the sidewalks and roadways in this section of the Square,” Cambridge City Engineer Kathy Watkins said.

Watkins said the stretch of Mount Auburn between John F. Kennedy and Holyoke Streets was in need of a range of repairs, including fixing potholes, cracks in the street, and sidewalks and repaving the roadway.

In addition to routine repairs, the DPW made improvements to the route by widening sidewalks in the area, replacing outdated streetlights, and planting new street trees. Though Newport Construction, a city contractor, performed milling on the roadway last week, almost three inches of cumulative rainfall yesterday stopped the scheduled paving efforts. Paving was tentatively rescheduled for Thursday, but Watkins said this rain date is completely weather-dependent.

Newport Construction will pave the roadway between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the rain date. While one lane of traffic will remain open during paving, the Cambridge DPW website advises that periodic detours are possible. Police details and signage will direct motorists and pedestrians to all alternate routes.

“We see this project not only as a set of routine repairs,” Watkins said, “but as an opportunity to improve the sidewalks and roadways around Harvard Square.”

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