The roughly two-mile-long renovation -- from Webster Street in Needham to Route 9 in Newton -- will widen sidewalks, improve intersections, add raised bike lanes and synchronized signals and rehabilitate the bridge over the Charles River.
These are much-needed, welcome improvements. But we’re now looking at the fall of 2024 before completion.
Delays are primarily due to work that must be done by nine different utility companies, MassDOT officials told us at a chamber webinar last week. (Watch the video here, slides from the presentation here.)
Due to the complexities of the work, the companies can’t all work at the same time. That leads to digging up portions of the street, repaving, and then digging it up again. (Officials said Friday repairs to road surfacing for the winter will begin in the coming weeks.)
All of that can be maddeningly frustrating for all of us as we bump our way along the torn-up roadway.
But it’s worse for many of the restaurants, shops, and other businesses located there. Please support them with your business.
Needham seeks to preserve open space, add housing
The Town of Needham is looking to preserve a breath-taking stretch of land along and near the Charles River for walking trails and other recreational opportunities
The unique agreement would also open the way for the creation of 70 units of senior housing with an affordable component.
Under a proposal that will go before Town Meeting on Oct. 24, the town would purchase three parcels of the estate totaling 34.3 acres of open space for $2.5 million. The remaining land would be acquired by Northland Residential, pending approvals and final agreements.
Of that, 14 acres would become part of a 70-unit age-directed townhouse neighborhood (built as a Friendly 40B). The remaining 14 acres would be preserved as open space. (Note: Northland Residential is not affiliated with Northland Investment Corp, which is currently developing a large mixed-use project on Needham Street in Newton.)
In total, the envisioned partnership is projected to keep an estimated 48 acres, or 75 percent of the current property, as open space and land and would allow for maintenance of the existing trail network and significantly expand waterfront access to the Charles.
After 18 months of deliberation and organized opposition, a committee charged with evaluating the fate of the Charles River Damin South Natick has voted to eliminate the hazard of the deteriorating South Natick Dam by removing the dam's scenic waterfall.
“The Charles River Dam Advisory Committee recommends that the town of Natick remove the spillway and restore the river, and invest in creating a beautiful and welcoming waterfront park that integrates the river’s adjacent public lands and provides a space for the community to meet, contemplate, and enjoy,” reads a draft of the report.
The recommendation now moves to Natick's Select Board and requires approval from Town Meeting, according to the MetroWest Daily News.
Officials estimate that about 150 properties worth nearly $600 million could be flooded if the South Natick Dam ever breaches. Removing the spillway would set the Charles River on a path of ecological restoration and establish an uninterrupted 26 miles along the river between dams.
Other need to knows
Beware of phony locksmiths: An apparent scam involving fake locksmiths who masquerade as local businesses is reportedly a growing problem in the western part of the state and moving eastward. (Berkshire Eagle).
Another chamber member, Welcome Home Inc. will hold an open house at its new location at 1191 Washington Street in West Newton on Sunday (Sept. 18) from 2-4 p.m. The organization supports families facing hardship by providing household items free of charge.
Interested in helping guide future decisions about new development, transportation options, business and economic development, open space, and recreation in Watertown?
As part of Watertown’s comprehensive plan process, the city is hosting interactive workshops to discuss draft goals and review preliminary strategies. Each workshop will have the same content. Details.
Tues., Sept. 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Watertown Middle School
Thurs., Sept. 29, 6:30 p.m. at the Watertown Free Public Library
If you or your small business paid late tax-filing fees during the pandemic’s darkest days, Uncle Sam may give you your money back.
Nearly 1.6 million taxpayers and small-business owners could see a relief of up to $1.2 billion, writes Andy Medici for the BBJ.
Individuals — and small-business owners — who filed taxes late in 2019 and 2020 could automatically be eligible for forgiveness or a refund on penalties already paid, according to the IRS. To be eligible, the income tax form must be filed before Sept. 30, 2022.
Most eligible businesses and taxpayers will see their credit or refund this month.
Here's another way to get a check from the IRS
Hate to sound like a broken record, but here goes: If your business or nonprofit has yet to explore the federal Employee Retention Tax Credit you could be leaving substantial money on the table.
Really, folks, surveys have shown that many eligible businesses have yet to take advantage of this which is why I keep mentioning it. Learn more.