Hammond Pond Parkway Improvements Project

Improving safety and accessibility for all users along Hammond Pond Parkway
Hammond Pond Parkway

Project Overview

Hammond Pond Parkway (HPP) is an approximately two-mile long corridor extending from Beacon Street at the northern end to Horace James Circle at the southern end. The parkway alternates between a three and four- lane, bidirectional roadway.

The parkway is uniquely situated to provide access to acres of conservation areas in the midst of the heavily developed Chestnut Hill Mall and surrounding neighborhood. The northern segment, which is part of the current project, bisects a popular conservation area including DCR’s Hammond Pond Reservation and the Webster Conservation Area (see locus map). The area around Route 9 is a major commercial node. South of Route 9, the section that is not part of this contract, the parkway alignment is adjacent to the Lost Pond Conservation Area and Skyline Park.

Pedestrian access is relatively limited except in the vicinity of Route 9. HPP does not feature any bicycle facilities or a shoulder that is usable by bicyclists. The high volume and speed of traffic are a significant deterrent to safe bicycling or pedestrian travel.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has hired BSC Group to provide professional consulting services to design and prepare 100% construction plans, specifications, and construction cost estimates; prepare and obtain required permits and approvals as necessary; and provide Bidding and Construction Phase Services for the design and implementation of the Hammond Pond Parkway Improvements, Phase I, Beacon Street to Route 9, Newton.

The design plans will detail the full depth reconstruction of Hammond Pond Parkway between Beacon Street and Route 9, a distance of approximately 5,200 LF. This will include the design of a 12-foot shared-use path on the west side of the roadway, a 4-foot walking path on the east side, a reduction in road travel lanes and width, fifteen-foot planting strip, historic lighting, new crossings, new curbing, guardrail, and new traffic signal design at two existing signalized intersections.

Project Vision and Goals

Hammond Pond Parkway Phase 1—Beacon Street to Route 9

DCR’s long-term vision is to create safe bike and pedestrian accommodationsalong the entire 2-mile length of Hammond Pond Parkway (Beacon Street to Horace
James Circle). Due to the complicated nature of this project, DCR is phasing the project into two phases. Phase 1 of the Hammond Pond Parkway Improvement Project is defined as Beacon Street to, and under, the Route 9 overpass. Following are diagrams of existing and proposed conditions for Phase 1.

Figure 1: Hammond Pond Parkway Existing Typical Cross Section – Segment 1A
Figure 1: Hammond Pond Parkway Existing Typical Cross Section – Segment 1A
Figure 2: Hammond Pond Parkway Final Plan - Proposed New Cross-Section
Figure 2: Hammond Pond Parkway Final Plan - Proposed New Cross-Section

Goals:

  • Redesign Hammond Pond Parkway as a “complete street” gem in the DCR parkway system.

  • Reduce travel lanes from four-lane roadway to two-lane parkway from Beacon Street to The Shops at Chestnut Hill driveway.

  • Maintain existing travel lane configuration from The Shops at Chestnut Hill driveway to Route 9.
  • Provide improved access to adjacent DCR and City of Newton conservation areas.
  • Create continuous ADA compliant access along all the Phase 1 parkway segment.
  • Install landscaped buffer between roadway and shared use path with appropriatenative plantings.
  • Redesign traffic signals within Phase 1, including the Beacon Street signal, toaccommodate all motor vehicle traffic demands while providing major safetyupgrades for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Replace existing cobra head streetlights with appropriate parkway standardstreetlights.
  • Redesign the cross section of the DOT bridge over the MBTA Riverside Linetracks to better and more safely accommodate pedestrians and bicyclistscrossing over the bridge.

DCR hired BSC Group as lead design consultant on this project. They have completed 100% PS& E design, the project was bid by DCR, and DCR has received a qualified low bidder. DCR anticipates issuing a NTP to C. Naughton Corporation, Bridgwater MA in fall, 2023.

Public Outreach

For this project DCR held two virtual community meetings with the City of Newton, both attended by Mayor Fuller. Dates of public meetings: 1/21/21 & 11/10/21. DCR also has hosted meetings with state elected officials, City of Newton professional staff, and with Boston College officials. At each of these meetings DCR and BSC presented the project vision and the 25%, 75% and 100% designs. Participants in each of the meetings were supportive of the project. The following slide was presented to the public and city.

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Additional Resources

Permitting

  • Newton Conservation Commission: Meetings held on 1/27/22 & 3/10/22. DCRwas issued a Final Order of Conditions from the Newton Conservation Commissiondated 3/11/22. Conservation Commission to request “minor modifications” to the O & M plan. This was done to accommodate DCR Operations feedback. All minor modification requests were accepted.
  • Project Notification Form filed with MHC in January 2022. On 5/4/22 DCR was issued a finding of “No Adverse Effect” signed by Brona Simon, Mass Historical Commission.
  • The final required permit for the HPP project is a DOT permit to modify the small bridge over the MBTA Green Line. DCR's bridge consultant has submitted final plans, and we are coordinating with District 6 to secure the DOT Temporary Construction Permit.

The MBTA has reviewed and approved the shielding plan provided for the bridge work.

Schedule

  • Construction will begin in Fall, 2023
  • Project funding to be provided by DCR parkway reconstruction (FY24-FY26)
  • Construction projected to be complete in Fall, 2025

Contact   for Hammond Pond Parkway Improvements Project

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