A two-year, $17.1 million project reconstructing two miles of Belmont's Trapelo Road and a slice of Watertown's Belmont Street will kick off construction today following over a decade of planning, officials said.
The project extends from Belmont's Waverley Square at Lexington Street and Trapelo Road to Arlington Street at Belmont Street on the Watertown line, according to Belmont documents.
The roads will be smoothed and bicycle lanes will be drawn, and the project will install new traffic lights, sidewalks, and landscaping, according to the state transportation department. It will also replace the overhead wires used by MBTA buses.
State representatives said during the two-year construction process, roadwork will cease during rush hours -- between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., and again between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. -- to help minimize traffic.
The project rose to the top of the state's priority list in 2011 after an independent review found the project was needed sorely in the area, and was important for community development, wrote state Sen. Will Brownsberger on his website.
The $17.1 million-plus tab for the reconstruction will be picked up by the state, representatives said.
The project has been in the works since about 2000, when residents attended the first workshop to help envision what the construction project would entail, Brownsberger wrote.
Watertown and Belmont officials worked together to acquire the necessary land for the project, through various town councils and selectmen roster changes, he said.
"So, this is a good news story about people working together to get things done -- two communities working together, elected officials and staff working together, federal, state and local government working together and citizens getting deeply involved at every stage," Brownsberger wrote.
Today's kickoff ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Trapelo Road and Belmont Street. Brownsberger will be In attendance, as will the state's highway administrator, Frank DePaola; state Rep. Jonathan Hecht; and state Rep. David Rogers.
For more information, visit Belmont's official website.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org