By John Lynds
Last Thursday, Mayor Martin Walsh released his $2.08 billion five-year capital budget plan.
Flanked by his cabinet and elected officials, Walsh made a commitment to start, continue and complete several projects around the Beacon Hill neighborhood.
“This Capital Plan prioritizes investments in Boston’s neighborhoods and is a direct reflection of the feedback we received from thousands of residents who contributed ideas to our planning processes,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am proud that we are able to put the wheels in motion to begin investing in projects that are important to Boston’s people, and that will prepare our City for a year of groundbreaking success.”
Walsh said the Capital Plan is the result of listening to residents across the city. The suggestions and feedback from residents, said Walsh, is what drove the five-year plan.
Walsh said he has committed $28 million from the Winthrop Square Garage sale. The proceeds will augment the current historic levels of investment in Boston Common to fully renovate America’s First Park.
“This investment will ensure future generations will enjoy the park in its full vibrancy,” said Walsh.
The city will spend $1.46 million on a multi-year investment to repair and upgrade existing pathways in Boston Public Garden;
Another $1.09 million will be spent under the Capital Plan for a multi-year investment in the Public Garden Lagoon. This money will be used to repair and backfill missing, destroyed and leaking granite coping surrounding the lagoon;
There will also be a $150,000 investment in Fiscal Year 18 for the redesign of the Boston Common Tadpole Play Lot which will include new play equipment, safety surfacing and site furnishings.
Dubbed the “Imagine Boston Capital Plan” the five-year plan will also focus on investments in the City’s infrastructure in every Boston neighborhood as well as schools, streets, arts, climate and resilience plans.
“Taken together, these initiatives will support Boston’s dynamic economy and improve quality of life for residents by encouraging affordability, increasing access to opportunity, promoting a healthy environment, and guiding investment in the public realm,” said Walsh.
Other investments according to the Walsh Administration include:
Investing $1 billion over 10 years to bring Boston’s school buildings into the 21st century;
Implementing core initiatives outlined in Go Boston 2030 to strive for streets that are safer, travel that is more reliable, and transportation choices to interconnect our neighborhoods;
Carrying out Imagine Boston 2030 open space goals to invest in Franklin Park as a keystone park for the City, complete the Emerald Necklace, and restore Boston Common to its full vibrancy, by leveraging Winthrop Square sale proceeds, City capital dollars and external funds;
Improving quality of life for residents by enabling affordable housing development throughpublic infrastructure projects;
Demonstrating the City’s leadership and commitment to sustainable funding for the arts through the Percent for Art program, which will support the commissioning of public art.
- An investment of $379,117 allocated in FY18 for the design of the South End Fitness Center Pool renovations to install a rain screen wall and add ventilation; replace doors and exterior windows, and repair pool;
- $3.8 million investment for road reconstruction improvements to Harrison Avenue, which are critical to economic development activity along the corridor between East Berkeley Street and Herald Street;
- $1.75 million to conduct roadway improvements including resurfacing, pavement markings and new traffic signals to Washington Street from East Berkeley to Herald Street, and Traveler Street.
- $1.35 million investment in Woods Mullen Shelter.
- $100,000 investment in Peters Park.
- $150,000 renovation at South End Library Park.
- $1.98 million for improvements to Titus Sparrow Park.
For the Back Bay, the following projects were listed in the Capital Budget:
- A $15.7M multi-year investment in a full renovation project for the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department to help preserve the Library’s valuable and historic special collections.This project will begin with the inventory of the nearly 250,000 rare books and one million manuscripts and then provide major environmental and mechanical improvements to better regulate temperature and humidity control of the department’s collection storage areas, staff spaces, conservation lab, and public reading room. Ultimately, the project will increase accessibility to the Library’s rare books and manuscripts and ensure the collections will be preserved for the future.
- A $1.46 million multi-year investment to repair and upgrade existing pathways in Boston Public Garden.
- A $1.09 million multi-year investment in the Public Garden Lagoon to repair and backfill missing, destroyed and leaking granite coping surrounding the lagoon.
- A $150,000 investment in FY18 for the redesign of the Boston Common Tadpole Play Lot which will include new play equipment, safety surfacing and site furnishings.
- A $2.26 million new investment for the design and construction of sidewalk and/or streetscape improvements on Boylston Street. Phasing will begin with the Dartmouth Street to Exeter Street block with $560,000 being allocated in this year’s budget.
- A $18 million investment to replace the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge over Commonwealth Avenue.