Expect traffic changes with Muddy River Restoration

By Sarah Kinney

Traffic turning onto Brookline Avenue will be one-way inbound starting the evening of Sep. 23 for continued work as a part of the Muddy River Restoration project.

A representative from the project said that the change in traffic pattern was supposed to start early this week, but delays installing temporary streetlights stalled the projects.

Between Riverway and Park Drive, Brookline will be one way in order for the construction crews to continue installing the caissons, or watertight retaining structure, for the culvert.

“Traffic coming down Brookline Avenue or Boylston Street outbound that want to continue down Brookline Avenue to the medical center will need to travel around the rotary between Brookline Avenue, the Riverway and along Fenway. New traffic signals will be installed to ease the congestion that occurs when traffic traveling down Park Drive from Brookline tries to merge with traffic exiting the Riverway from Brookline,” the project’s website explains.

This is part of phase one of the project, which includes putting a 10 by 24-foot box culvert under the Riverway roadway and another under the Brookline Avenue roadway, and daylighting the area in between the two.
Daylighting includes removing the existing culverts and excavating the area to return the Muddy River to a more natural state.

Over the summer, the Landmark Center driveways were relocated to accommodate the new traffic patterns planned for the area.
These changes in the Simmons neighborhood are part of the Emerald Necklace Master Plan, which included the restoration of Olmsted Park, Back Bay Fens gatehouses, and dredging of Charlesgate. Future plans include the current projects on the Landmark Center waterway and the restoration of the Carlton Street footbridge.

“The Project Area is approximately 3.5 miles long and includes portions of Boston and Brookline. The watershed of the Muddy River encompasses 5.6 square miles and includes a portion of the City of Newton,” explains the website.

The citizen-led Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee (MMOC) manages the Muddy River Restoration Project.

The objectives of the project are to improve flood control, improve  water quality,  enhance the aquatic/riparian habitat, restore the landscape and historic resources, and implement Best Management Practices (BMPs).
The MMOC meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 6–8 p.m. at the MMOC office, 68 Harvard Street, Brookline. Occasionally, meetings are held at the Community Affairs Room of the Brookline Public Safety Building at 350 Washington Street in Brookline.

For more information on the project, you can email info@muddyrivermmoc.org or MuddyRiver@usace.army.mil.

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