Grand Junction Park
Initially proposed as part of the "Innovation Boulevard" project to redesign Galileo Galilei Way in the late 2000's, the first phase of the Grand Junction Greenway was built on land owned by the CRA adjacent to the railroad right-of-way, between Main Street and Broadway and named Grand Junction Park.
On June 9, 2016, the CRA completed construction of the Grand Junction Park and the first section of the Grand Junction Greenway multi-use path. The Park is located at the corner of Main and Galileo, an intersection with a significant amount of foot traffic. The new park features a 14-foot wide shared use path the length of Galileo Way, 35 new trees, rose gardens, comfortable seating areas with Adirondack chairs and tables along a meandering porous pavement walking path that has a birds eye view of the intersection. It also has new bike racks, a drinking fountain with a water bottle filler and dog bowl, a new fence along the length of the property and an arrangement of granite block benches in a lush lawn area.
Some of the unique design features include granite boulders engraved with the name “Grand Junction,” and an outline of the old Harvard Street that historically cut through the middle of the property using pieces of reused pink granite engraved with the name of the street. Six larger sized trees were saved and transplanted prior to the parking garage demolition that was part of the early 88 Ames Street residential construction. MIT provided $500,000 of the $800,000 total construction budget through requirements in MIT’s Kendall Square PUD-5 zoning petition in 2013, CRA contributed another $100,000 for planning and engineering work, and DPW provided the daily on-site construction management expertise. Halvorson Design Partnership served as the Landscape Architect.
This Park is the largest CRA construction project on CRA owned land in many years, and represents a significant accomplishment for the new CRA Board and Staff. In less than 12 months from Spring 2015 (not including the winter construction break) the CRA hired a landscape architect, created construction drawings, executed a public bid for construction, worked with a utility to do upgrades, constructed and opened the Park - which is in a highly complex area of underground utilities and railroad right-of-way.
CRA’s improvements add a little beauty, joy and discovery to this small forgotten corner of Kendall Square that was once a railroad spur.
Future Grand Junction Greenway
Now that this section of the Grand Junction Greenway multi-use path is completed, the CRA will be collaborating with CDD to help make the full path a reality. Eventually, the path will run alongside the existing tracks in the Grand Junction corridor from the Boston University railroad bridge, through Cambridge north to the planned extension of the Somerville Community Path to be constructed as part of the Green line Extension. When fully completed, the path will provide a completely off road shared use continuous pathway for bicyclists, walkers, joggers, and rollerbladers, both for transportation and recreation.
Construction of the path is possible while maintaining current rail operations and accommodating the potential for a future urban rail transit alignment ("rail with trail").
Grand Junction Park Design Documents
In 2015 CRA engaged FST as the project engineer and Halvorson Design Partnership as the landscape architect. The design was developed, refined and coordinated with multiple utilities and the railroad during the first half of 2015 as well as presented in public during several 2015 CRA Board Meetings and a City Council Transportation Subcommittee Meeting on March 25, 2015.
CRA Section: Main to Broadway: Approved Schematic Design 2015
Grand Junction Overview: CDD Grand Junction Pathway Site & Documents
Grand Junction Park Construction Documents
The CRA advertised the bid for construction services in late June 2015 and construction began around Labor Day 2015 with most major work completed by early December 2015. Planting and finishing work re-started in March 2016 and a grand opening ceremony was held on Thursday June 9, 2016 at 4pm at the corner of Main Street and Galileo Way.
Contract Documents and Specifications as advertised to bid 6/17/2015
Final Drawings as advertised to bid 6/17/2015