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Mayor Walsh launches groundbreaking for Audubon Circle $7 million reconstruction

May 15, 2017


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The project will increase safety, improve travel conditions and provide improved green space for all users of Audubon Circle. 

Artist rendering of updated Audubon Circle
Mayor Martin J. Walsh this weekend announced that the City of Boston and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) are investing a total of $7 million to reconstruct Audubon Circle in the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood of Boston. The new design, developed in cooperation with the Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association and others in the community, will increase safety and improve travel conditions for all users. It will also reimagine the public space, including investing in planters inscribed with poetry chosen by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, and green infrastructure. Audubon Circle was originally designed in 1887 by Frederick Law Olmsted as a tree-lined gateway to the Fenway and the Emerald Necklace.

"Our goal is to make Audubon Circle a welcoming place for residents and all others who visit this neighborhood," said Mayor Walsh. "This project fulfills another promise in our Go Boston 2030 plans: ensuring Audubon Circle has increased safety and accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. Working with residents, the Boston Transportation Department has produced a design that better meets the current transportation needs of the community, while simultaneously honoring the history of Audubon Circle."

"Increasing safety and making Audubon Circle more pedestrian and bike friendly are priorities for neighborhood residents, and these priorities are also in accordance with Vision Zero and Go Boston 2030 goals for enhanced transportation safety and access on Boston's streets," said Chris Osgood, City of Boston Chief of Streets. "With the community process and design work now complete, we are looking forward to beginning the active construction phase of this beneficial project."

As part of the project, four plazas, each featuring planters and seating, will be built on the four corners of the intersection. Poetry will be engraved on each of the four planters, and each poem will reflect one of the four seasons.

Additional improvements to Audubon Circle will include:

  • Shorter crosswalks to safely guide pedestrians and more time to cross.
  • Dedicated signalized left turn lanes on Park Drive northbound and Beacon street westbound.
  • New bike lanes on Beacon Street.
  • Plazas on the four corners with planters and seating.
  • Green infrastructure including rain gardens, permeable pavements, 49 street trees planted in structural soil and 12 magnolias.
  • Engraved poetry on the planter walls.
  • New ADA compliant wheelchair ramps.
  • New pavement markings.
  • New street lighting.

"The unique design features incorporated into this plan ensure that Audubon Circle will serve its transportation related purpose as well as contribute to the beauty of the neighborhood," said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca. "The Boston Arts Commission, the Browne Fund and Robert Pinsky all helped us to achieve this goal. I would also like to thank MassDOT for contributing many of the project's design and construction funding needs."

Other partners making a contribution to this project include the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Children's Hospital and Samuels Associates, developer of the Landmark Center.

The project design was guided by HDR Inc. with Crosby, Schlessinger Smallridge of Boston, and Mario Susi & Son, Inc,. also of Boston, is the contractor.  Construction is expected to be completed by November 2018.