Trapelo Road Schedule

Please note: some information in this post has been superseded — click here for latest.

Glenn Clancy, Director of the Community Development Department of Belmont recently posted a tentative schedule for the Trapelo Road Rebuild Project.

Drainage and subsurface work is in progress now all along the corridor. The actual road work will be done in seven segments, which will minimize disruption along the corridor as the project is completed from west to east. The plans call for the completion of three segments, from the Waltham line to Poplar Street in 2014, and four planned, from Poplar Street to the Cambridge Line in 2015.

Much of the utility, traffic signal and sidewalk work will  be completed ahead of the road segments.  Installation and resetting of benches, bus shelters, fencing, signage, bike racks, bollards, and road markings is planned for the conclusion of the project in 2015.  Landscaping is scheduled for the summer of 2015, which will include the planting of 200 new trees.

The expected completion dates of each segment:

Waltham Line to Church Street July 25th, 2014
Church Street to Hull Street September 12th, 2014
Hull Street to Poplar Street October 30th, 2014
Poplar Street to Common Street April 15th, 2015
Common Street to Payson Road June 3rd, 2015
Payson Road to Falmouth Street July 20th, 2015
Falmouth Street to Cambridge Line September 2nd, 2015

Andrew Bettinelli
Legislative Aide
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

5 replies on “Trapelo Road Schedule”

  1. Will, it looks like the original plan was to remove the tracks under Trapelo Rd. Is there a document that explains why the tracks will now be retained?

    From the scope of work doc on the Belmont town website:


    The work under this Item shall be done in conformance with the relevant provisions of Section 120, as required by the Engineer, and the following:

    The work under this Item shall consist of the excavation, removal, and disposal of the existing steel tracks and concrete foundation with either two or four rails with approved pavement breaker and/or pavement saw, including the removal and discarding off-site of the rails, ties, drainage pipe, switches, sidings, and the concrete, brick or stone foundation materials

  2. Roy, you are not alone in having this concern, and I share it. Please see this FAQ document.

    It would make everyone more comfortable if the tracks were coming out, but the paving experts have opined that the tracks will not be the biggest structural problem that the road faces — by the time the tracks cause problems there will be many other problems in the road bed.

    I’ll ask about the earlier document though — that’s interesting.

  3. Glenn Clancy, Town Engineer of Belmont, explains, in response to Roy’s question:

    There is one set of rails under Church Street that is being removed. This work is paid for under the “Two Rails” item and paid per foot of length.

    There is a raised island with trees being installed in Belmont Street in front of the Oakley Country Club so we need to remove the tracks. This work is paid for under the “Four Rails” item.

    All other rails are remaining in place. The state pavement engineer did not see the need to remove the rails since they have a solid base. The pavement design calls for a thicker layer of asphalt to be installed than what exists today. Remember Trapelo Road and Belmont Street have not been repaved in over 30 years. In that time the pavement breaks down and the tracks under the road begin to show due to reflective cracking. Visible rails are a symptom, lack of maintenance is the problem.

  4. Hi Will — Do I understand from the schedule that there will just one layer of asphalt added? That presumably has to last another 20 years?

    My concern is actually the time difference between the start of the first segment and the completion of the last, that the first parts will already be seeing holes and the inevitable utility “whoops we forgot that” dig ups before the end is done. Could the final layer all be done at once (i.e. over a week or two)?

    Now don’t get me wrong; this is much over due and will be a tremendous improvement.


  5. My understanding is that, as usual, there will be a binder coat and a finish coat. But that they will do both coats on a section before they go to the next section. You don’t want to leave just a binder coat on for long because the structures are set to accommodate the additional thickness of the final layer. If you hold the final coat until the end, all the manhole covers would be up an inch or two — with the attendant risk of accident — for a long time.


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