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Quincy Town Brook construction to cause traffic delays

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  June 8, 2012 12:34 PM

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Underground construction on the Town Brook is set to begin next week, which may cause delays for traffic in the area, Quincy officials said.

The work will be centered on the southern side of the Walter J. Hannon Parkway between Hancock and Mechanic streets, and temporary lane closures will be required mainly in the morning hours next week so that supplies and equipment can be delivered.

There is no construction planned for the road itself, and there will be no detours onto other roads, staff said.

According to Rob Stevens, principal planner with the Quincy Planning Department, the $15 million project will take place mainly in four stages.

The first stage – to lay the dry pipe under the concourse – has already been complete. Stage 2 will entail tunneling under Hancock Street, Stevens said.

Stage 3 will put in open channel sections where they are tunneling, and Stage 4 will be doing the tie-ins at either end of the brook.

In addition to that, a landscape architect will have to construct the pocket parks that will sit alongside the day lit portions of the brook.

Furthermore, engineers need to configure the construction along a section of the brook belonging to Arline Goodman’s – a neighboring resident who has been against the idea of moving the brook due to flooding concerns.

Goodman lost an appeal to halt construction with the state Department of Environmental Protection in a decision issued on May 18.

With local and state permits in place, and no immediate appeals pending, the hope is to have the main portions of the brook finished by the end of the year, Stevens said.

There will be a moratorium against construction during the smelt run, which takes place from March through June, so the final completion of the brook may not occur until July or August 2013, Stevens said.

Crews will also have to complete some flow restoration at the Center Street Junction – a mandate within the Department of Environmental Protection’s Superseding Order of Conditions.

“So there are things outside the permit that we’re committed to doing,” Stevens said.

Part of the project will include the arrival of large construction cranes in Quincy Center.

All in all, it’s the beginning of the $1.6 billion revitalization of the downtown. Private construction will begin concurrently with the city conducting three major infrastructure projects, including the relocation and day lighting of the Town Brook, the implementation of the Adams Green, and the construction of the Burgin Parkway Access Bridge.

The brook project will take a 1,700-foot section of the brook, which currently runs mostly underground through Quincy Center, to alongside an area of the concourse. The project will reduce the length of the brook by 500 feet, and expose a 200-foot section to daylight.

“It will improve the rainbow smelt habitat, and create several new ‘pocket parks’ in the Quincy Center area,” staff from Mayor Thomas Koch’s office said in a release.

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