An exciting improvement is in the works for the Charles River in Watertown. The Department of Conservation and Recreation in partnership with the Solomon Foundation will reclaim 1.5 acres of parkland and establish a new recreation path along the Charles River. See the following press release for more detail:
Patrick Administration Announces Implementation of the Greenough Greenway Project
BOSTON– Monday, January 5, 2015 – Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Jack Murray today announced implementation of the Greenough Greenway project, which will reconfigure a mile-long riverfront section of Greenough Boulevard between Cambridge and Watertown into a new park. The $1.4 million project, which will be put out to bid in January, will be funded through a public/private partnership between DCR and the Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation.
The Greenough Greenway project will:Improve public safety for drivers, cyclists and walkers
- Provide a fully accessible recreational path along the Charles River
- Maintain efficient traffic flow on Greenough Boulevard and Grove Street
- Enhance the visitor experience and reclaim parkland
- Improve the environmental quality of the Charles River
- Demonstrate a new cost effective Public/Private partnership model
“Governor Patrick’s commitment to investing in parks and open spaces to connect communities in Massachusetts has been second to none,” said Commissioner Murray. “The Greenough Greenway project will create a unique open space for thousands of residents and visitors to use, while improving public safety along Greenough Boulevard.”
The Greenough Greenway project will reconfigure Greenough Boulevard by reducing the roadway width and creating a new 10-foot recreational path to accommodate the increasing number of pedestrians and cyclists who use the roadway. One Eastbound and one Westbound will be removed from the center portion of the roadway along the river and the left turn lane at the intersection of Greenough Boulevard and Grove Street will be doubled in length.
Combined with DCR’s Herter Park, the completed Greenough Greenway will form a 3.1-mile loop, providing new recreational opportunities for more than 80,000 people who live and work near the greenway. In addition, the public safety improvements will encourage more people to use non-vehicular modes of transportation, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The project is funded through a public/private partnership between DCR and the Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation. The Solomon Foundation secured funding and managed the design process for the project, with Vanasse, Hangen and Brustlin (VHB) as lead designers. The Solomon Foundation was joined by the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, the Bilezikian Family Foundation and individuals from the surrounding neighborhoods in raising $500,000 towards the project. The Commonwealth has committed $700,000 towards the implementation and construction. The project is expected to be completed in fall of 2015. More information on the project can be found at solomonfoundation.org.
“Innovative and large scale projects like this are only made possible through strong public/private partnerships. We are proud of this project and thankful for the opportunity to work with our friends at the DCR.” said David Solomon, Founder and Director of the Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation.
“I am thrilled to see this project moving forward. Greenough Boulevard was overbuilt many years ago and this restoration of recreation space makes good sense,” said Senator William N. Brownsberger. “I’m very grateful both to the Solomon Foundation and to Commissioner Murray for making it happen.”
“With this project, the Patrick Administration and the DCR are taking another major step toward making the Charles River parkways and parklands safe and welcoming for all users,” said Representative Jonathan Hecht. “All of us who live, work and travel in the Charles River Basin are deeply grateful to them and to the Solomon Foundation and other private donors for their far-sighted contributions to transportation, recreation, and environmental quality in our communities.”
DCR has previously announced that it will undertake a Comprehensive Study of its parkway system in 2015, with a focus on identifying locations where improvements could be made for cyclists and pedestrians. The Greenough Greenway will serve as an innovative example of how parkways can be modified to meet the needs of all users, including pedestrians and cyclists as well as motorists.
Since 2005, the Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation has worked with public and private partners to identify projects which will significantly improve Greater Boston’s major public parks and greenways. The Foundation cultivates these initiatives by providing up-front design, technical and planning assistance and works to build coalitions to implement them. DCR has partnered with the Solomon Foundation on a number of projects, including the $4 million rehabilitation of the Esplanade Docks, the Sensory Trail for the Blind in Watertown and the Charlesgate Greenway linking the Charles River to the Back Bay Fens.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams and parkways. Led by Commissioner Jack Murray, the agency’s mission is to protect, promote and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger