The sidewalk improvements currently being implemented on Joy Street mark the completion of a project that got
underway more than four years ago.
Kay Barned-Smith, project manager for the city’s Public Works Department, said the project area extends on Joy Street from Smith Court to Cambridge Street, and the work entails replacing the sidewalks on both sides of the street with wire-cut brick to provide a smooth, accessible area; installing bollards on the west side of the street; repaving the road on that portion of Joy Street; and bringing the sidewalk on Cambridge Street into compliance with ADA-accessibility. Work got underway in July and expected to wrap up by the end of September.
This project is the fifth and final piece of a $24 million citywide inititaive that was funded in part by a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER discretionary grant, awarded to the city by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The original project area extended the length of Joy Street between Beacon and Cambridge streets, but Barned-Smith said it was reduced in response to community concerns.
“We have no idea at this time what’s planned for the rest of Joy Street…but the work has gone with minimal disruptions overall,” Barned-Smith said. “We managed to keep the road open, although when we do the paving, it might be closed for brief periods.”
Rob Whitney, president of the Beacon Hill Civic Association board of directors, said “The city has raised the street level to the sidewalk to allow for a bigger pathway on the sidewalk for people in wheelchairs and with limited accessibility. The Civic Association is very much in favor of this ‘shared-street concept’ and continues to support taking this approach throughout the neighborhood.”
Whitney said the Civic Association is actively trying to set up a meeting with the city now to discuss its future plans for implementing these changes and to see how the group can be of assistance.