Casey Arborway Project: South Street/New Washington Street Detour Starts Friday Night

As the Casey Arborway project continues the area is being altered on a regular basis, leading to detours and unfamiliar driving scenarios. Come this Friday there will be an important detour to be aware of. Also, next week the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will be holding office hours to discuss the project. Beginning at 10 pm on Friday, August 25, and running to 5 pm on Saturday, August 26, traffic exiting South Street onto Washington Street west (towards the Arnold Arboretum) of the MBTA Forest Hills station will be unable to turn left on South Street.  Also, northbound (towards Doyle's Café and the Soldier's Monument) traffic on Washington Street will be unable to turn left into South Street. MassDOT said this temporary closure is necessary to complete paving the middle portion of Washington Street.

Plane trees planted by Casey Arborway, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Casey Arborway: Tree Planting Continues Two Years After Clearcutting

Tree by tree, sections of the Casey Arborway are being replanted. On Tuesday, resident Clay Harper noticed 21 plane trees being planted along the western section of the massive project. The plantings come two years after clearcutting of hundreds of trees around Forest Hills Station. By the time the road realignment project is completely done - current estimates put that at Spring 2018 - MassDOT says the area will have 400 more trees than when the project began. We've been following the Casey Arborway project's ups and down for years.

File photo: Commuters will soon see signs like this again, pictured on Sept. 6, 2016, as the T shutters one track at Forest Hills from March 25 through June.

Starting March 25, Forest Hills Station Back Down to One Track

Forest Hills Station will be taken back down to one track starting March 25 as part of the Casey Arborway project. The plan is the same as from when the T shut down one track from September through December. This time, instead of installing a jet fan needed for the new station entrance north of New Washington Street, the closure will make it easier to do electric work and build "underground elements" required by the massive project, MassDOT said in an advisory issued Wednesday. During the last stretch of one-track operation, the T said its plan for rush hour would not cause added delays. The September-December closure allowed the following work on the Casey Arborway project to be done:

Jet fans installed to ventilate the station.

Casey Arborway, Dec. 11, 2016

Casey Arborway Milestone: Shea Square Stoplights to Go Live Thursday

Jamaica Plain's "Little Dig" -- AKA the Casey Aborway -- is scheduled to pass a key benchmark this week. Shea Circle, the part of the Arborway where Franklin Park meets the main entrance to Forest Hills Cemetery, will take a giant step toward becoming Shea Square. The stop lights in the new configuration are to be turned on for the first time on Thursday. Transportation planners say a signalized intersection will be more efficient than the large circle it is replacing. Here's what the finished product should look like:

Here are the details on which traffic movements will be affected the next two weeks, as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation:

On or about December 15th the traffic signal will control Shea Square for the first time.

Detail: Toole Square final plan

Casey Arborway Milestone: First New Trees to be Planted

Remember the winter of 2015? If the 100-plus inches of snow didn't depress you, there was the chopping down of more than a hundred trees around Forest Hills for the Casey Arborway project. Now for the good news, nature lovers: The first trees of the mammoth project will soon be planted. The Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that week after next contractors plan to start planting trees in the area where the permanent median of the Arborway will be. It was just one line in MassDOT's latest "Three-week Look-ahead," but it should bring a smile to everyone who hated seeing those 160 trees cut down.