The Watertown Riverfront Park and Braille Trail Project is a two-phased effort to restore the mile-long Charles River Reservation multi-use paths and parkland between Watertown Square and the Watertown Yacht Club along Charles River Road.

The Phase 1 project area is a 3,200-foot-long, crescent-shaped swath of parkland along the north bank of the river between Watertown Square and the Perkins School, encompassing 12 acres.  It includes a Braille Trail and Sensory Garden, with a design managed by DCR and developed with the assistance of the Perkins School, as well as improvements to the site’s riverbank, pathways, and landscape.   A signalized crossing at the Irving Street-Charles River Road intersection will be among the improvements made.

Phase 2 of the project will include pathway improvements and riverbank access and restoration along the area located on either side of the Phase 1 area, running upstream to the recently-restored Watertown Landing site at Watertown Square and downstream to the Watertown Yacht Club.

With the assistance of the Friends of the Waterfront Riverfront, several public meetings were held over the course of two years to gather ideas and build public support for the project.  Phases 1 and 2 are being supported by a $1.38 million public/private partnership funding effort involving DCR, The Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation, the Town of Watertown, the Bilezikian Family Foundation, the Perkins School for the Blind, the Watertown Disability Commission, and the Watertown Community Foundation.  DCR is exploring additional public and private funding sources for Phase 2 construction. 

The project design was performed by the Bioengineering Group of Salem, MA and Sasaki Associates of Watertown, MA and was completed in the winter of 2014.  The Phase 1 construction contract has been awarded to D&C Construction Co., Inc. of Rockland, MA.  Construction began in June 2014 and is generally scheduled to take place Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The primary project is targeted for completion in December 2014.  Some plantings and punch list items may be completed in  the spring of 2015.

Two Week Look Ahead

Planned engraving on interpretive boulder
Planned engraving on interpretive boulder

September 14, 2015 – September 25, 2015

The following are activities you can expect to see over the next two weeks for the Waterfront Riverfront Park and Braille Trail Project:

  • Engrave entrance pillar and interpretive boulders;
  • Bring 35 goats and three herding dogs in to eat poison ivy and invasives on September 21 for a three-day feast;
  • Install pavement markings
  • Seed regraded open parkland.

Construction Work Schedule:  Monday-Thursday, 7AM to 6:00PM.

Public Access:  The secondary path along the Charles River is closed for the duration of the construction project.

Pedestrians can use the sidewalk directly adjacent to Charles River Road, and cyclists can use the freshly painted bike lanes on Charles River Road.

Stabilizer pathway installation continues
Interpretive Station with draft language
View from riverbank to Irving Street entrance
Braille Trail interpretive station with granite block apron

Questions or concerns about the project should be directed during regular business hours to either DCR Resident Engineer Jay Yuan at 617-212-7539 or DCR Project Manager Rick Corsi at 617-626-1431  

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