Broadway in East Somerville is getting a major facelift, and construction begins this summer. It will last for two years.
The redesign is "a repainting of the canvass of this part of the city. Long over due," said Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, speaking Tuesday night at a Ward 1 ResiStat neighborhood meeting.
The mayor said the two years of construction "will be a pain in all our backsides," but he asked residents of East Somerville to bear with it.
The $8 million redesign will reshape Broadway from Garfield Street (near McGrath Highway) to the border of Charlestown. The biggest change will be to convert the two lanes of traffic in each direction into one lane of traffic, with an added bike lane.
The redesign will include wider sidewalks, more trees, benches, improved lighting and crosswalks and better traffic signal phasing, according to a presentation delivered by the city at Tuesday night's meeting.
Read more about the redesign here and at the city's ResiStat blog. (Note: in the first link, posted over a year ago, the cost of the project is said to be $7 million. The ResiStat blog, which is more recent, says the cost is now $8 million.)
It's a key part of a larger effort to transform that part of East Somerville. The effort includes building a new park, and that section of Broadway is also attracting a new generation of restaurants, such as La Brasa and East End Grill, which are supposed to open later this year.
Construction on the redesign will begin this summer, and it's expected to be complete in 2014.