The Chelsea GreenWay project is fully under construction this week, and City officials expect to have the multi-million dollar job substantially completed by the fall.
The GreenWay project came through a $1.1 million commitment to the City from the state, as well as funds from the City Council to complete the beautification of the shared use path along the new Silver Line.
“This final part of the Silver Line project will result in such enhancements as the planting of more than 500 trees and several parcels will be landscaped, and there will also be hardscape plazas at key entryways such as Chestnut Street and Highland Street,” said Alex Train of the Planning Department.
That project goes from Eastern Avenue where the shared use path stats and concludes at Chestnut Street.
After that, there will be on-street improvements to continue the walking path such as signage, sidewalk replacement and crosswalk enhancements – filling out the walking path from one end of the project to the end at Market Basket.
Train said this is also an opportunity to plant more native trees that aren’t necessarily common in Chelsea.
“I think there is a real opportunity in the planting program,” he said. “This is one of the most intensive planting of local native species. These are trees that are native to the area, but may not be prevalent anymore.”
The idea with the GreenWay is to take pieces like the Chelsea stretch and connect it to other greenways and paths, such as the East Boston GreenWay and Everett’s Northern Strand Trail. Connecting those paths can create a network for alternative transportation that most planners only dreamed of a few years ago.
“We’re working very close now with an organization called the Land Line Coalition, which is working to try to connect all of these greenways together,” he said.
The same is true for the Silver Line’s potential expansion into Everett and Cambridge – a plan that is being considered by the MBTA in the near future.
“We are ready to expand the GreenWay network if the Silver Line expands into Everett and to the casino and beyond,” he said. “That could be a tremendous connection for our residents.”
Work will continue throughout 2019 on the project, though it is expected to be finished in November, with punch list items finishing next spring.
The contractor on the project is D’Allesandro of Avon.