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Somerville kicking off Union Square re-design process

Posted by Brock Parker  November 13, 2013 01:57 PM

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Somerville is kicking off a design process to improve infrastructure in Union Square and revitalize the area with mixed-use development, upgrades to public open space and efforts to encourage walking, biking and car sharing.

Mayor Joseph Curtatone along with Ward 2 Alderwoman Maryann Heuston and Ward 3 Alderman Tom Taylor will hold a kickoff meeting to discuss the design work Monday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. in the Argenziano School at 290 Washington St.

The city has hired consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff, which has an office in Boston, for the planning and design of roadway improvements to the square. The consultant said in a press release that it will help identify a design that will improve all modes of transportation, including vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, bus and the opening of light rail service at the Green Line station in Union Square in 2016.

Parsons Brinckerhoff will also identify municipal utility system improvements necessary to support anticipated redevelopment after the opening of the Green Line station, according to the company.

According to Curtatone’s office, the city’s Union Square Revitalization Plan is seeking to create a district with multi-story office, research and development, and housing space along with retail, restaurant and service establishments. The plan aims for multi-story buildings to exist alongside the square’s historic core and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Once the design plan is accepted, Parsons Brinkerhoff will work with the city and partners to develop a phased plan to make the improvements, and implementation is expected to begin in 2016 to coincide with the Green Line station opening, according to the company.

The kickoff meeting for the design work Monday will provide an overview of the project, and introduction to the project team and will discuss the process and schedule.

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