Somerville Avenue, Somerville


This full-depth reconstruction and streetscape beautification project transformed Somerville Avenue from an inefficient, flood-prone and automobile-focused urban corridor to a model of multi-modal equity and efficient mobility that no longer deals with the flooding problems of its past.


As part of its Master Plan, the City of Somerville sought to revitalize a commercial business district along Somerville Avenue and hired Design Consultants, Inc. (DCI) to perform the survey and design work.

This stretch of roadway is a major urban arterial linking Porter Square and Union Square, two critical commercial districts within the city. DCI’s design work for Somerville Avenue included an exclusive bicycle lane with signal priority, a closed loop traffic signal system, the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the existing brick arch sewer system, a new 6-foot diameter drainage system, full depth roadway reconstruction, and sidewalk and pedestrian improvements. The roadway drainage and signal improvements are funded through Massachusetts Highway Department, while the sewer improvements are funded through the City of Somerville.

Detailed drainage study completed for the Millers River watershed area including multiple storm events for sizing of the new Somerville Avenue drainage trunk line. To separate the current combined sewer/drainage system, DCI used video inspection to map connections and services that were not on record. The video recording has also been helpful in determining which portions of the sewer line will be replaced. The project garnered praise from Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone for significantly improving the drainage on the roadway. Prior to the reconstruction work, the roadway flooded frequently – including displaced manhole covers and combined sewer overflows. In the historical rainfall of March 2010, the roadway experienced no serious flooding or delays of any kind.

Construction Cost:

$ 25 million


American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC-MA) Silver Award.