Envision Downtown Meeting: February 11 Recap

A public infosession was held on February 11, 2020, where project updates were discussed. Some highlights from the meeting include:

  • The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) performed an initial evaluation of the community‐input concept plans and approved advancement of the project. While the Town has not yet finalized the specific designs, MassDOT has approved the scope of the project and determined that the framework, safety, and design standards meet federal-funding criteria.
    • MassDOT approved advancement of project concept as a whole, rather than separate phases/elements, which is uncommon in a project of this size.
    • MassDOT also approved upgrades to Lake Avenue and Spaulding Street, a win for Wakefield as these are not main thoroughfares.
    • In response to community input, angled parking is maintained in certain sections of Main Street, atypical for MassDOT approval.
    • The Rockery feature will be preserved and accessibility improved. Green space will be expanded and crosswalks added for safety.
  • MassDOT estimates funding at approximately $26 million. This figure includes the original $16 million engineer’s estimate and adds $10 million in contingencies, administration, potential utility relocation, and inflation.
    • Funding sources: 80 percent federal funding, 20 percent state funding
  • Wakefield received a Complete Streets grant of $378,571 which will be used to perform upgrades to Albion Street. This project will serve as a “live model” for the greater project.
    • Over the next few months, the community will be asked to determine streetscape elements, lighting styles, and material selections for Albion Street.
  • Project leaders will attend ongoing meetings with the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (Boston MPO) as part of their TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) process
  • Tentative project schedule. Note that these dates are not firm, but simply provide a general estimate of how the project may progress:
    • March 2020: Albion Street Community Meeting
    • Spring 2020: Presentation to Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization
    • Spring/Summer 2020: Albion Street construction
    • August 2020: Community Meeting at 25 percent design
    • September 2020: Submit 25 percent design concepts to MassDOT
    • January 2021: Receive comments from MassDOT
    • February 2021: 25 percent design public hearing