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DCR Breaks Ground On Major Road Diet in Newton

6:40 AM EST on December 13, 2023

The proposed new cross-section of Hammond Pond Parkway in Newton. Courtesy of the Massachusetts DCR.

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The Commonwealth's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has started construction on a $11.3 million road-narrowing project for Hammond Pond Parkway in Newton.

Hammond Pond Parkway is currently a four-lane highway running between Beacon Street in Newton to Horace James Circle in Brookline.

A map of Hammond Pond Parkway, which cuts across a protected parkland between Newton and Brookline and skirts the edge of a small pond south of the Boston College campus and east of Newton Centre.

For most of its length, the Parkway currently has no sidewalks – just a pair of well-worn dirt pathways along its curbs.

The current project, which we initially reported on in its planning stages in early 2021, will reduce most of the roadway north of Boylston Street in Newton from four lanes to two, and create new greenspace alongside a new 12-foot shared-use path in place of the existing southbound lanes along the west side of the roadway:

The current Hammond Pond Parkway (left) is a four-lane road without sidewalks; a rendering of a proposed reconstruction project (right) illustrates how the roadway would be narrowed, and how former car lanes would be transformed into a bike path with additional greenery. Courtesy of the Massachusetts DCR.

“Not only is this project important to the regional transportation network, it helps ensure our parkways provide neighborhoods with safe and accessible connections to economic centers and natural resources,” DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo said in a DCR press release announcing the project earlier this week. “This project will make this busy road safer for the community while increasing green space for recreation and promoting sustainable transportation.”  

The project is expected to be completed in 2025.  

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