Commonwealth Ave. Carriageway Restoration

Illustration of the proposed restored section of the carriageway
Illustration of the proposed restored section of the carriageway

The Commonwealth Ave. carriageway in Newton is a beloved greenway enjoyed year-round by runners, cyclists, walkers, and marathon enthusiasts. While much of the Carriageway provides a protected, low-stress, tree-canopied route, the western most section was reconfigured mid-century and the greenway was removed. With support from Auburndale neighbors and the Riverside Greenway Working Group, the City of Newton is leading designing a restoration of the Commonwealth Ave. Carriageway from the Charles River to Lyons Field in tandem with a large bridge replacement project the state is undertaking.

Background: In 2018, the Foundation learned that MassDOT was finalizing designs to replace the Route 30 Bridge over the Charles River between Weston and Newton complete with a shared use path along the bridge that would connect to Norumbega Road and Weston’s waterfront along the Charles River. Construction staging for Charles River Bridge replacement would necessitate temporary roadway changes in Newton on Commonwealth Ave. We also learned that Weston was working to complete designs for a 3.75 mile shared use path along Route 30 to the west, connecting to the bridge over the Charles River.  The Foundation saw the opportunity for Newton to transform this dangerous unpleasant stretch of Commonwealth Ave. into a beautiful greenway. This critical link in the Charles River Greenway system could be done in tandem with MassDOT’s Route 30 Charles River bridge replacement project. Mayor Ruth Anne Fuller and her staff immediately saw the benefit of enhancing the western gateway to Newton. With seed money from the Foundation, and strong community support from Auburndale residents and the Riverside Greenway Working Group, Newton is working with Howard Stein Hudson and Halvorson Design on plans to produce a full design package that coordinates with the MassDOT bridge replacement project.

Proposed section from the Newton Marriott Hotel to Woodbine Street
Timeline
DateMilestone
2018MassDOT plans to include shared use path on Route 30 Bridge over the Charles River
2018Weston plans to build a shared use path the entire length of Route 30
2018The Foundation alerts Newton to opportunity to leverage planned MassDOT construction staging to restore the Commonwealth Greenway
2019The Foundation provides matching funds to the City of Newton for initial design work for Greenway restoration
2019A public meeting is held in Newton to get community feedback
2019The project is listed in as a candidate for federal funding through the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
2020The project is reviewed and scored as a candidate for TIP funding
2025/26The project may be funded in the future through the TIP and constructed in tandem with the Charles River Bridge Replacement

Project Details

Initiated:
  • 2018
Solomon and Barr Investments
  • $24,800
Partner Investments
  • $24,000
Estimated Cost to Complete
  • $5,000,000
Key Partners
Consultants
Status

Design work is continuing to prepare for if the project is awarded future TIP funding

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