Globe Watch

Bumpy roads the complaint in Belmont

This photo shows Concord Avenue at the Belmont-Cambridge border, facing Cambridge. This photo shows Concord Avenue at the Belmont-Cambridge border, facing Cambridge. (Christina Pazzanese for The Boston Globe)
By Christina Pazzanese
Globe Correspondent / July 5, 2010

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“When is something going to be done about the conditions of our roads?’’ reader Joanne Monaghan writes to GlobeWatch, asking that seemingly unanswerable question. Monaghan points to Belmont in particular as “notorious’’ for shabby road conditions, citing busy Concord Avenue and Trapelo Road.

“You should drive along Concord Ave. that starts in Leonard St. in Belmont [Center], goes up the hill by the police station, and circles up a hill and joins Concord Ave. [toward Lexington]. That section is actually dangerous because of the hills and large potholes,’’ Monaghan writes. “Concord Ave., which is parallel to Trapelo, is disgraceful as well.’’

A Globe reporter took a ride along Concord Avenue from Fresh Pond in Cambridge into Belmont Center, and over Belmont Hill to Mill Street, adjacent to Rock Meadow Reservation.

The road from Fresh Pond to Blanchard Road in Belmont was bumpy and road stripes had worn away in many areas. Orange construction barrels and signs, as well as many feet of metal tubing, lay along the side of the road.

Concord Avenue was in decent shape from Blanchard Road to the railroad bridge underpass that marks the entrance to Belmont Center, but it quickly became a bumpy patchwork of scarred, uneven pavement and large potholes from Leonard Street to Mill Street. A drive along Trapelo Road between Belmont and Waltham found the street wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t terrible. The stretch around the Waverly Square area was rough, but it was clear that a water main replacement effort was probably a factor.

The city of Cambridge has a $2.8 million reconstruction project underway along Concord Avenue from Fresh Pond to the Belmont line, said Katherine Watkins, senior engineer for the city’s Department of Public Works. The work, which began in April, will include installing a new water main over the next couple of months, followed by the renovation of sidewalks, a raised bike lane, and road repaving, she said. This portion of Concord Avenue was last repaved 15 years ago, she said.

Down the road in Belmont, upper Concord Avenue from Pleasant Street just outside Belmont Center to Mill Street is about to undergo a $1 million overhaul, said Glen R. Clancy, Belmont’s director of community development.

Because water drainage problems routinely plague this portion of the road, a storm drain replacement project will go out to bid later this month and should get underway in August, he said. Once the drains are installed, the road will be reconstructed and repaved.

“It’s been a challenge’’ for the town to keep up with necessary road work because of the high cost, said Clancy, who believes Concord Avenue was last repaved before he started working for the town 25 years ago.

Readers with problems they would like addressed can e-mail

Glen Clancy
Community development director
Town of Belmont
Homer Municipal Building
2d Floor
19 Moore St.
Belmont, MA 02478

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