The Bowker Overpass Repair Project is moving towards completion. Phase 4 demolition started last week and will continue into December on the western lane of the northbound side of the overpass. This represents a delay of several months from the schedule that I posted in July. A previous version of this post included a mistaken assertion by me that the project was in the final phase of demolition. The updated schedule, consistent with the previous version posted in July, includes the necessary demolition and repair of the east most lane of the overpass. The repair project is expected to be complete by summer of 2016. For more background on the project, please see this earlier post from Senator Brownsberger.
MassDOT has been using the parkland under the Bowker as a staging area for construction, which required an easement from the landowner, DCR. It is our understanding that as a condition of the construction easement MassDOT must restore the parkland at the conclusion of construction. This restoration creates an opportunity for the Bowker Overpass and Charlesgate Park to become better neighbors. Over the years the parkland under the Bowker has deteriorated significantly and become unusable as park space. Senator Brownsberger, Representative Livingstone, Representative Rushing and Councilor Zakim have met with officials from MassDOT and DCR to discuss the importance of improving the condition of the park. Staff from both departments are working together to come up with a plan for restoration. Additionally, as part of the Bowker repair project, the previous administration had committed to build the Charlesgate Greenway, a multi-use path that would connect the Fenway to the Esplanade. This new connection would link Commonwealth Avenue to the Paul Dudley White Bike Path, two of the busiest bicycling routes in the city. As part of their advocacy to improve the parkland, the same group of legislators have encouraged MassDOT and DCR to build the new link. Both improvements would transform what is currently dead space into a refreshed and welcoming park.
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger