Intersection Redesign: Powder House Boulevard and Alewife Brook Parkway

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The City of Somerville is reconstructing the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Powder House Boulevard with support from a MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant from the State. The project will upgrade ageing underground infrastructure and create safer roadway conditions for all users.

The City of Somerville is reconstructing the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Powder House Boulevard with support from a MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant. The project will create safer roadway conditions for all users and upgrade aging underground infrastructure.

Construction is expected to begin in late December/early January and continue through the fall of 2024.

Why is this intersection being reconstructed?

The current intersection is a high crash location (48 crashes between 2014-21). Focusing our efforts on the intersections where the greatest number of crashes occur is part of the City's Vision Zero Action Plan for reducing and eliminating transportation

The City of Somerville is reconstructing the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Powder House Boulevard with support from a MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant. The project will create safer roadway conditions for all users and upgrade aging underground infrastructure.

Construction is expected to begin in late December/early January and continue through the fall of 2024.

Why is this intersection being reconstructed?

The current intersection is a high crash location (48 crashes between 2014-21). Focusing our efforts on the intersections where the greatest number of crashes occur is part of the City's Vision Zero Action Plan for reducing and eliminating transportation injuries and fatalities.

What are the goals of this project?

The goals of the project are to improve safety for everyone traveling along the road by enhancing pedestrian and bicycle connections, improving access for residents, and slowing drivers. The project design also seeks to add green space and retain trees.

Interested in learning more?

On February 1 the City will host a community meeting to review the final design, discuss the construction process, and field questions from the community.

  • Alewife Brook Parkway Shared Street - Entrance Reconstruction Begins May 14.

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    Weather permitting, tomorrow, Tuesday, May 14, City contractors, R.M. Pacella will be constructing a raised crosswalk at the entrance of the new Alewife Brook Parkway residential shared street.

    To facilitate this work, access to the new residential shared street from Powder House Boulevard will be restricted until Thursday, May 16.

    • During this time, we ask that residents please access the street via the emergency entrance from Alewife Brook Parkway.
      Work hours are weekdays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Schedules are subject to change due to weather or other factors.

    Additional Construction Impacts:

    • Some on-street parking may be temporarily restricted.
      • Please observe posted signage.
    • Trash/recycling pick-ups, deliveries will not be affected.

    If you have questions, please call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600 ext. 5400 or email construction@somervillema.gov.

  • Final Phase of Construction Begins Mid-May

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    Crews plan to mobilize in mid-May to begin work on the final phase of the Powder House Blvd. and Alewife Brook Pwky. Intersection Redesign project.

    Remaining construction activities include:

    • Electrical and lighting installations
    • Remaining curbing and sidewalk installations (Includes raised concrete entrance of new residential street.)
    • Planting new trees and other greenery
    • Final paving of the roadway (Additional notification to provided ahead of paving.)
    • Pavement marking and signage installation

    Some temporary parking restrictions will be in place during work hours.

    Substantial completion of this project is currently planned for this summer. Some temporary detours will be required during work hours for certain construction activities.

    If you have questions, please email construction@somervillema.gov or call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600 ext. 5400.

  • New Traffic Signal Activated

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    New traffic signal equipment at the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Powder House Boulevard has been activated, marking a significant milestone in the intersection redesign project.

    Initial Temporary Signal Configuration

    Following activation, there will be an approximately two week period where signals are in a temporary configuration.

    • Flashing yellow to traffic approaching from Alewife Brook Pkwy.
      • Indicates people driving should proceed with caution
    • Flashing red to traffic approaching from Powder House Blvd.
      • Indicates people driving should come to a complete stop before proceeding when it is safe to do so
    • The current signalization crosswalk across Alewife Brook Parkway to the west of the intersection will remain in place throughout this period.
      • New pedestrian signals/crossing will not be turned on/active during this temporary configuration.

    Regular Signal Configuration

    Following the approximately 2 week temporary configuration, signal equipment will be switched to its regular (green, yellow, red) configuration.

    • At this stage, pedestrian signals will be turned on and new crossings will be activated.
      • Old signalized crossing across Alewife Brook Pkwy will be deactivated at this stage


    Please observe all signals/signage and proceed with caution while navigating through the intersection.

    If you have questions, please email construction@somervillema.gov or call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600 ext. 5400.

  • Signal Equipment Installation Nearing Completion

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    Update 12/22 - Signal Activation Pending Final Inspection

    City Contractors have completed installation of all new signal equipment at the intersection. Activation of the signal is contingent upon final electrical inspections, and coordination with Eversource Electric.

    The project team is actively prioritizing these final steps. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work toward this this milestone in the intersection redesign process


    City contractors are in the process of installing new traffic signal equipment at the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Powder House Boulevard as part of the City’s intersection redesign project.

    We expect installation will be complete and signals to be turned on within approximately the next 1-2 weeks.




    Initial Temporary Signal Configuration

    After signals are turned on, there will be an approximately 2 week period where they are configured as follows:

    • Flashing yellow to traffic approaching from Alewife Brook Pkwy.
      • Indicates people driving should proceed with caution.
    • Flashing red to traffic approaching from Powder House Blvd.
      • Indicates people driving should come to a complete stop before proceeding when it is safe to do so.
    • The current signalized crosswalk across Alewife Brook Parkway to the west of the intersection will remain in place throughout this period.
      • New pedestrian signals/crossing will not be turned on/active during this temporary configuration.


    Regular Signal Configuration

    Following the approximately 2 week temporary configuration, signal equipment will be switched to its regular (green, yellow, red) configuration.

    • At this stage, pedestrian signals will be turned on and new crossings will be activated.
      • Old signalized crossing along Alewife Brook Parkway will be deactivated at this stage


    Please observe all signals/signage and proceed with caution while navigating through the intersection.

    If you have questions, please email construction@somervillema.gov or call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600 ext. 5400.

  • Fall Update - October 2023

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    Since installing a new traffic pattern and transforming the former rotary into a new T-shaped intersection, City Contractors have been hard at work building new sidewalks and a residential shared street along Alewife Brook Pkwy.

    (Chicanes on new shared street)

    (New sidewalks along Powder House Blvd lead to T-shaped intersection with Alewife Brook Pkwy.)


    Work is expected to continue through the fall prior to breaking for the winter and resuming in spring of 2024.

    Remaining work includes:

    Fall 2023

    • Anticipated completion of new sidewalks and cycle track
    • New traffic signal and lighting installation/electrification


    Spring 2024

    • Final paving of roadway/intersection
    • New tree plantings
    • Construction of traffic calming features




    If you have questions, please email construction@somervillema.gov or call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600 ext. 5400.

  • Alewife Brook Pkwy/Powder House Blvd Intersection - New Traffic Pattern, Begins 7/25 or Soon After

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    Beginning on Tuesday, July 25 or soon after, City contractors will install a 3-way stop at the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Powder House Boulevard as part of the City’s intersection redesign project.

    New Traffic Pattern

    City contractors are in the process of reconstructing the existing traffic circle to create a T-shaped intersection.

    • Stop signs will be installed in all three directions, while awaiting the installation and electrification of new traffic signal equipment.

      • Video message boards and signage along Alewife Brook Parkway will be in place to inform driveways of the new pattern.

      • Traffic along Alewife Brook Parkway in both directions will be reduced to one lane approaching the intersection.

      • Orange construction barrels along work zones will be in place along workzones.

    • This new traffic pattern will also create a new shared street between 269 and 294 Alewife Brook Parkway.

      • A shared street is a low-volume residential street that prioritizes people walking, rolling, and biking.

      • This street is intended for residents/emergency vehicles only and is not a thruway.

    Pedestrian Access

    The current signalized crosswalk across Alewife Brook Parkway to the west of the intersection will remain in place throughout construction.

    If you have questions, please email construction@somervillema.gov or call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600 ext. 5400.

  • Powder House Blvd. Preliminary Paving - 7/6 or Soon After

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    Over recent months, City contractors have been working on improvements to drainage and sewer infrastructure along Alewife Brook Pkwy. and Powder House Blvd. Drainage and sewer work will continue along Alewife Brook Pkwy. over the coming weeks.

    Preliminary Paving on Powder House Blvd.

    Underground utility work is substantially complete along Powder House Blvd. City contractors will be performing preliminary paving between North St. and Alewife Brook Pkwy. on Thursday, July 6 (weather permitting).

    July 6 - Paving Impacts

    • On-street parking will be restricted during construction. Please observe posted signage.
    • Periodic road closure during paving.
      • Access will be maintained for residents.
    • Access to your driveway may be temporarily restricted.
      • Onsite crews are available to help you get in and out of your driveway if needed.
    • Trash/recycling pick-ups and deliveries will not be affected.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience as we work to create safer roadway conditions for all users and upgrade aging underground infrastructure.

    If you have questions, please email construction@somervillema.gov or call the Engineering Division at (617) 625-6600 ext. 5400 with questions.

  • Powder House Blvd Detour (North St. to Alewife Brook Parkway), Begins Week of 3/13/23

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    Beginning on Monday, March 13 or soon after, vehicles travelling both eastbound and westbound on Powder House Blvd, between North St. and Alewife Brook Parkway, will be detoured during construction hours (weekdays 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

    • Westbound traffic will be directed south on North St., west on Broadway to return to Alewife Brook Parkway.

    • Eastbound traffic will be directed south on Alewife Brook Parkway, east on Broadway, north on North St. to return to Powder House Blvd.

    • Anticipated detour duration: ~3 months (weather permitting).

    • Emergency vehicles will be allowed to proceed at all times.

    • All abutters will maintain access to their driveway. Some coordination with on-site crews may be required.

    Pedestrian Access

    Pedestrians will maintain access throughout the detour. While some sidewalk access may be restricted at times, city contractors will install temporary, accessible sidewalk detours as needed.

    If you have questions, please email construction@somervillema.gov or call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600 ext. 5400.

  • February 1st - Intersection Redesign Community Meeting

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    February 2023 Community Meeting

    Wednesday, February 1, at 6:00 p.m.

    Please join us for a virtual community meeting to learn more about this project. Topics to be covered include:

    • Review of the final design and planned improvements
    • Overview of the construction process and timeline
    • Neighborhood Q&A session with City staff

    Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0Aeckje5S32OytNVWGufKQ

    Project information also available in the following languages:

    Interpretation into Portuguese, Spanish, Haitian Kreyol, Nepali, Mandarin, Cantonese, or other languages may be available upon advance request by contacting the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs at somerviva@somervillema.gov(External link) or calling 311 at 617-666-3311.

    Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Adrienne Pomeroy, at 617-625-6600 ext. 2059 or apomeroy@somervillema.gov(External link).

  • Construction Kick-off Update (December '22)

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    Over the coming weeks, City contractors will begin work to reconstruct and improve the intersection of Powder House Boulevard. and Alewife Brook Parkway. This project will redesign the existing traffic circle to create a T-shaped intersection with traffic signals--in order to create safer roadway conditions for all people walking, wheeling, biking, and driving. This project will also include rehabilitation of aging underground infrastructure.

    Anticipated Work Schedule (subject to change):

    Construction is expected to begin sometime in the coming weeks and continue through the fall of 2024. Work will take place weekdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    For more information and to stay up to date:

    • Attend our upcoming construction community meeting (details forthcoming, anticipated late January)

    • Make sure you are signed up for city alerts to receive notification of construction impacts (traffic detours, sewer rehabilitation, etc.)

    • Check this page for periodic updates and important notifications

    If you have questions, please call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600 ext. 5400 or email construction@somervillema.gov.

    Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or ADA@somervillema.gov.

Page last updated: 13 May 2024, 03:54 PM