From Demo to Today, JP’s Harper Amazingly Documents Casey Arborway Project

If there were an official Casey Arborway project historian Jamaica Plain's Clay Harper would probably fill the role. Instead he'll have to settle for spectacularly documenting the project from its start in 2014 to today with close to 500 photos and a blog. After supporting the surface option for the Casey Arborway project (instead of putting up another bridge), Harper decided to document the project. "I'm a close neighbor and walk through the full project area three or more times a week for exercise. As someone who participated in the planning and the public debate (eventually as an unaffiliated advocate) I had a deep immersion in the details -- everything from DOT planning presentations to the underlying traffic data to the 400+ pages of bid drawings," said Clay Harper to Jamaica Plain News.


Casey Arboway Project Update: Construction of Bicycle and Pedestrian Ways Continuing

Work on the Casey Arboway Project continues with landscaping being added (often a sign of a project nearing an end) and the new upper busway canopy is closer to being installed. Keep in mind that work is highly weather dependent, but will continue on all day, except Sunday, with suitable conditions to allow construction to progress. Here is a 3-week look back and a 3-week lookahead provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT):

Since March 5th to March 23rd the project has:

Advanced work in both the northern (towards Green Street) and southern (towards Roslindale Square) Forest Hills Station plazas;
Continued construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities project wide;
Continued finalization of signal operations project wide; and,
Completed work on the foundations for the new upper busway canopy. Motorists are reminded that eastbound (towards Franklin) and westbound (towards the Arboretum) left turns off the Arborway at the intersections of South Street/Arborway and Washington Street/Arborway are now permanently prohibited.  These movements will now be permanently handled by the eastern and western median U-turns.  The only exception to this is the westbound left turn at Arborway/Washington Street which is available to general purpose traffic as directed by the electric sign mounted on the signal controlling the Arborway westbound approach.  Drivers of private cars using this left turn when the approach is signed for buses only may be subject to fines and assigned moving violations. During the week of March 26th work will address the following:

Around the intersection of Arborway/Washington Street:

Paving, striping, and installation of curb for the third westbound (towards the Arboretum) approach lane at the intersection of Arborway/Washington Street.

Detail of official Casey Arborway plan showing new entrance to Forest Hills T north of New Washington Street.

Here’s Your Latest Casey Arborway Project Update

It's time for another update about the Casey Arborway Project! Remember everything is weather dependent -- so if there's a snowstorm, tsunami, monsoon or bomb cyclone, these plans will be altered. Click here for more coverage of the Casey Arborway Project by Jamaica Plain News. This information is all provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. There will be signage to guide drivers during the following changes and drivers who must travel through the affected area should remain aware of updated traffic patterns, reduce speeds and use caution. Starting at 10 am on Friday, January 26, crews will shift traffic in Jamaica Plain so that the westbound Arborway will be in its final alignment between South and Washington Street.


Casey Update: Eastbound Arborway Going Into Final Alignment on Friday; Westbound Arborway Final Alignment by Mid-January

Come Friday at 10 am crews will start the process of shifting the eastbound side of Arborway into its final alignment between South and Washington streets as part of the Casey Arborway project. And by the middle of January, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) crews expect to begin the process to shift the westbound Arborway, which carries traffic headed towards the Arnold Arboretum, into its final alignment. Keep in mind that the schedule will be impacted by weather conditions "as well as coordination and accommodations with key stakeholders," according to a MassDOT press release. There will be signage to guide drivers during the final alignment period. The following information was provided by MassDOT:

Once the eastbound Arborway is shifted into its final alignment the following changes will go into effect:

Eastbound traffic will be discontinued on New Washington Street
Eastbound left turns to go from the Arborway to Washington Street northbound (towards the Green Street orange line station) will be prohibited at the intersection of Arborway/Washington Street
Drivers seeking to make the left turn described above will:

Continue through the intersection;
Proceed to the eastern median U-turn;
Reverse direction using the median U-turn;
Proceed to the intersection of Arborway/Washington Street and turn right onto Washington Street northbound. Once the westbound Arborway is shifted into its final alignment the following changes will go into effect:

Westbound traffic will be discontinued on New Washington Street.


Casey Arborway Update: It Ain’t Gonna Be Pretty in Forest Hills This Weekend

You may want to avoid driving near Forest Hills this weekend due to Casey Arborway construction that will impact local area roads from the MBTA station to the Monument on South Street. The intersection of South and New Washington streets in Forest Hills will be shut this weekend for work related to the Casey Overpass replacement project from 10 pm on Friday and reopen at 5 am on Monday, according to MassDOT. South Street between the Arborway and the Monument on South Street will be local access only. (More about the actual detours below)

During this time, pedestrians should cross New Washington Street at the intersection with Washington Street. Buses will also be affected.


MBTA Route 39 Moves Permanently to Upper Busway on Saturday

The MBTA Route 39 bus is moving to its permanent location this Saturday, October 14th. The move will occur following the end of bus operations on Friday, October 13, as the 39 will cease operating from the Route 39 loop at the northern end (towards Doyle’s Café and the Monument) of the Forest Hills Station block. Beginning with the start of bus operations on Saturday, October 14, the Route 39 bus will operate from the upper busway at the MBTA Forest Hills Station, according to a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Passengers looking to access the 39 should exit to the upper busway as normal and turn to their right as they exit the station. The area that was occupied by the Route 39 loop will immediately become part of the Casey Arborway work zone.


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.