The construction, and the obstructions, are the result of a City of Cambridge project that looks to improve conditions in the park.
“The park was in very poor condition, with a lot of pathways that were in bad shape and drainage issues,” said Bill J. Deignan, the city’s transportation program manager.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Deignan said the project’s contractor, despite some earlier setbacks, “is on track to have pretty much all of the work done” on time.
Deignan said the city will replace lighting systems to better illuminate the Common at night. The city is also constructing “a multipath connection alongside Flagstaff Park so that people can better get in and out of Harvard Square toward Mass. Ave.”
The only potential delay the city expects involves planting new trees, a process that will have to continue into the spring, he said.
According to Deignan, planners conceived the project so as to minimize pedestrian inconvenience. “We did think ahead of time about the phasing of the project so that people could use the Common while it was under construction and use the paths to go where they needed to go,” he said.
“I think that for a park, it sucks that Cambridge Common has just been under construction for the past two years,” said Aakriti Prasai ’18, who lives in Cabot House.
“In the beginning of the year when the paths were closed, it was pretty annoying because I had to walk different ways,” said Isaac L. Alter ’16, another Cabot resident who noted improvement now that the paths have reopened.
Other students, including Tess V. Davison ’16, were mostly ambivalent about the construction. Davison, also a Cabot resident, said, “I pretty much never walk through there, so it doesn’t really affect my life.”
“At this point the project has been going on for 18 months,” Deignan acknowledged, “so I think people are ready to see it wrap up and be over.”
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