State Department of Transportation officials will be meeting with contractor A.R. Belli this week to set a start date for long-awaited safety upgrades to Nonantum Road later this spring.
The proposed $6.4 million project will narrow the road from four lanes to two 11-foot travel lanes along with dedicated turning lanes at key intersections from Galen Street in Watertown to the intersection of Brooks and North Beacon streets in Brighton, said Adam Hurtubise, a Mass.DOT spokesman.
The busy, winding road, managed by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, has long been criticized by residents and political leaders from Watertown, Newton and Waltham for the high incidence of often-fatal motor vehicle accidents.
In addition to reducing the lanes, a flat, paved median strip will be added in the middle of the road to reduce the likelihood of head-on collisions. For pedestrians and bicyclists, the multi-use riverside path will get upgraded, new furniture at scenic vistas overlooking the river and new ornamental lighting that will brighten the path and the roadway. The existing drainage system will see improvements and storm water treatment practices will be enhanced.