Construction Updates

August 11 – August 24, 2019

Traffic Impacts

•Route 1 Northbound: Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the right lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

•Route 1 Southbound: Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the right lane at the Carter Street off-ramp. Just beyond the Carter Street on-ramp, the travel lanes shift to the right. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

•Ramps: As of Monday, July 15, the Fourth Street Off-ramp will be closed for 2-3 months.

•Local Streets: Orange Street under Route 1 will close temporarily on Saturday, August 17, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. From Monday, August 19 to Friday, August 23, Spruce Street between Sixth Street and Everett Ave will be CLOSED overnight from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for bridge work with traffic detoured one block to Arlington Street. The Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration and Carter Street workzone will remain in place until Fall 2019.

Work Hours

•Most work will occur in during daytime working hours (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take place during afternoon (2 p.m. – 7 p.m) and overnight hours (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m. – 2 p.m). Overnight work on the Tobin Bridge will occur on Friday, August 18 (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

Summary of Work Completed

•In the two weeks prior to August 11, crews continued work on the bridge deck, cured concrete, repaired steel, bridge deck, and joints, installed dust containment systems, power washed and excavated support column footings, and placed concrete columns.

Description of Scheduled Work

•Route 1 Northbound: Repair steel, waterproof bridge deck, and lay asphalt. Additionally, bridge deck removal will continue on the right side of the workzone through the Chelsea Curves.

•Route 1 Southbound: Paint new deflector plates.

•Underneath the Structures: Replace and paint steel; continued installation of dust containment systems; power wash and paint columns and support beams; excavate, drill, and grout around support columns; erect steel; place new concrete columns, and ongoing material deliveries.

Travel Tips

Drivers should take care to pay attention to all signage and move carefully through the work zone. Police details, changes in lane markings, temporary controls such as barriers and traffic cones, signage, and other tools will be used throughout the project to control traffic and create safe work zones.

The contractors are coordinating with local event organizers and police to provide awareness and manage traffic impacts during events. For your awareness, during this look-ahead period, the following events are scheduled:

•Red Sox (Fenway Park): 8/16 at 7:10 p.m., 8/17 at 7:10 p.m., 8/18 at 1:05 p.m., 8/20 at 7:10 p.m., 8/21 at 7:10 p.m., 8/22 at 1:05 p.m.

•TD Garden Events: 8/14 at 8:00 p.m., 8/15 at 7:30 p.m., 8/16 at 7:30 p.m., 8/17 at 7:30 p.m.

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First Zero-Emission, Battery-Electric Buses Join the Silver Line Fleet

This week at the Southampton Bus Garage and Maintenance Facility, Governor Charlie Baker, MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak gathered to celebrate the introduction of the MBTA’s first brand new, zero-emission, battery-electric bus (BEB) prototypes into the MBTA’s Silver Line fleet.

“The procurement and testing of new battery-electric bus technology is exactly the type of investment we aim to continue with the Transportation Bond Bill in order to help the MBTA plan for the future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration will continue to explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth’s transportation system and we look forward to more improvements as the MBTA makes progress on delivering a more reliable bus system.”

“These new zero-emission, completely battery-electric bus prototypes are an emerging technology aimed at providing a safe, reliable, comfortable ride while lowering energy costs and reducing dependence on fossil fuels,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We are pleased to take steps forward with the process of evaluating whether these kinds of new technologies that promote sustainability are appropriate for daily service for MBTA customers.”

“We’re excited to introduce these first battery-electric buses into service on the Silver Line to test how they operate in real-world conditions on Boston streets and in the Silver Line tunnel,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “This is an exciting first step in testing new technologies to electrify our bus fleet, save on fuel costs, and reduce our maintenance needs. We look forward to seeing how these buses perform, gathering data on power consumption, and testing their range during extreme weather as we continue to seek ways to reduce greenhouse gases and improve service for our customers.”

With support from a $10 million federal grant, the MBTA procured from New Flyer the production of five zero-emission, battery-electric, 60-foot, articulated buses. All five are currently in Boston with the first BEB prototype having arrived in April 2019 to begin testing and operator training. Three BEBs are entering service today on Silver Line Routes SL2, SL3, SL4, and SL5 with the next two anticipated to enter service on these routes by the end of the summer.

Five charging stations are also being built within the Southampton Bus Garage and Maintenance Facility as part of the project where each BEB will be “refueled” overnight.

These BEBs are powered by both rear axle and center axle electric motors to enhance safe operation during the winter months. The majority of 60-foot Low Floor articulated buses in service in North America utilize only the rear axle to provide propulsion power by pushing the bus, which can experience traction issues during winter months when snow and ice are present. The performance of the BEBs’ axle placement will be one feature specifically tested and studied while in service.

The MBTA will also be one of the first systems to test 100 percent electric heat for comfortable onboard temperatures during winter months. Previously, U.S.-built BEBs operated diesel-fired auxiliary heaters.

With a commitment to vehicle efficiency, energy conservation, and sustainability, the MBTA continues to explore available technologies and new vehicles that are capable of zero-emissions operation in the Silver Line Transitway Tunnel, which serves the World Trade Center, Courthouse, and South Station stops. Innovative projects like the MBTA Silver Line Zero Emission Bus Project directly reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and also help improve ridership by offering a quieter, emission-free transit experience.

During a two-year period following the introduction of the BEBs into service, the MBTA will test and gather data on this emerging technology to measure BEB performance and operational effectiveness with a focus on power consumption of electric heaters, operator / passenger comfort, vehicle range impact during extreme conditions, charging requirements, and projected operating costs. The MBTA will operate these buses on Silver Line routes to measure the capabilities of the technology for consideration in future zero-emission bus procurements.

Over the past four years, the Baker-Polito Administration has invested unprecedented levels of funding for transit improvements that have included the purchase of hundreds of new buses as well as the purchase of hybrid vehicles:

•The MBTA has purchased 575 new buses with 381 already in service and 194 additional hybrid buses in production.

•More than one third of the bus fleet was recently replaced. Once the additional hybrid buses are in service, more than half of all MBTA buses will be less than five years old. These new buses replace the oldest and least fuel-efficient vehicles in the fleet and provide a more comfortable ride for passengers.

•The piloting of these five zero-emission, battery-electric buses is also the first step in testing new technologies to electrify the fleet.

•In April 2018, the MBTA introduced the Silver Line 3-Chelsea service, providing a direct link between Chelsea and the Seaport District. This project was the first new MBTA service since the Greenbush Commuter Rail Line came online in 2017 with the $56.7 million project jointly funded by MassDOT ($7.6 million) and the MBTA ($49.1 million).

•Following positive results from a Transit Signal Priority (TSP) pilot, the FMCB approved plans to expand the T’s TSP pilot to include broad corridors of the MBTA street-level system. TSP provides faster service to bus passengers by using signal technology to reduce dwell times for vehicles that operate in mixed traffic.

•As part of the Better Bus Project, the MBTA has partnered with cities and towns to implement dedicated bus lanes and queue jumps, resulting in faster trips for bus passengers. Bus lanes currently exist on Brighton Avenue in Allston, Washington Street in Roslindale, Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, Mount Auburn Street in Cambridge and Watertown, and Broadway in Everett.

The MBTA is currently investing more than ever before to upgrade its infrastructure under its current $8 billion, five-year Capital Investment Plan already in place, and the Baker-Polito Administration’s Transportation Bond Bill includes approximately $5.7 billion for the MBTA to continue funding improvements.

The bond bill also includes a number of proposals to accelerate capital investments that include investments in the MBTA’s bus system, including continued funding for the dedicated bus lanes, signal prioritization, bus shelters and other infrastructure; for sustainable transit system modernization investments to modernize the bus fleet and support the Better Bus Project; and for maintaining the bus fleet and operational improvements. There are additional provisions to allow for the use of design-build procurement for smaller projects, which reduces the timeline for delivering capital improvements, and job-order contracting, which is a faster, more cost effective way to address outstanding maintenance needs. The bill would also establish a process to leverage private-sector investment to fund and build transit improvements.

The provisions in the bond bill that seek to expedite the T’s pace of investment come on the heels of the T’s plan to accelerate capital investments by exploring more aggressive closures overnight and on weekends, increasing the regimen of proactive inspections, negotiating with contractors to compress project schedules, augmenting the existing workforce with a flexible team that can provide necessary services such as flaggers, bus operators, and power, signal, and track personnel to support capital investments.

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The Movement Basketball League More Popular than Ever This Summer

Drive by Highland Park on any Tuesday or Friday, and one can feel the positive vibe all the way on the street.

This year, The Movement basketball league has grown bigger than ever, with more sponsors, more players, more volunteers, and the positive energy that everyone hoped for when the league started four years ago in the wake of the Pablo Villeda murder, and associated shootings, on Washington Avenue.

“There are more players and we’re growing bigger and building that community that we hoped for,” said Damali Vidot, who is the president of the league and of the City Council. “We have more than 100 kids this year and we have a waiting list too. It’s the most participation we’ve ever had. It’s just really great to see that any Tuesday or Friday when you drive by Highland Park and there are so many people at the at the basketball court. The kids get it; they know it’s more than just basketball. They play with passion and are so respectful.”

The league consists of eight teams, with sponsors such as State Rep. Dan Ryan, State Sen. Sal DiDomenico, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Century 21 and William Vaquerano. Most of the sponsors come down for the games, she said, as they are interested in seeing how the league has progressed.

Right now, they are in their sixth week of games, with four games left. They will have a big playoff event in the coming weeks that Vidot said they hope will be a big community celebration.

The Movement caters to young men ages 13-20, and was formed because the founders felt that nothing was being done to reach out to that age group – particularly those who weren’t misguided, but maybe getting influenced by bad things. Now that it has become so popular, Vidot said they are attracting all of that age group in Chelsea and beyond to Highland Park twice a week.

It was what they hoped for.

“We’re all there to have a good time, and kids don’t just come to play basketball,” she said. “They stay and hand out and they build relationships with coaches and with me and with other players. These are relationships that last beyond the summer so that even outside the season they feel like they can talk to a coach or one of the other players about a problem they are having. It’s definitely got that vibe.”

This year, Vidot said they have celebrated the first female coach, as well as the first coach who came back after “aging out” as a player.

“The idea was always to pass the baton, and we’re seeing kids come back to coach this year after having been players in the past,” she said. “We wanted this to get passed on to those kids so that it’s self-sustaining. We’re already starting to see some of that.” The Movement starts at 6 p.m. in Highland Park every Tuesday and Friday, with games lasting until about 10 p.m.

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Chelsea Curves/Tobin Bridge Construction Look-Ahead

July 28 – August 10, 2019

•Fourth Street Off-ramp Temporary Closure Continues

As of July 15, the Fourth Street Off-ramp is closed for 2-3 months for steel repairs, structural rehabilitation, safety improvements, and installation of permanent crash barriers on both sides of the ramp.

•Traffic Impacts

*Route 1 Northbound: Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the work zone begins in the right lane. Two of three travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least one travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

*Route 1 Southbound: Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the work zone begins in the right lane at the Carter Street off-ramp. Just beyond the Carter Street on-ramp, the travel lanes shift to the right. Two of three travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least one travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

*Local Streets: The Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration will remain in place until Fall 2019. A work zone is expected to be implemented on Carter Street underneath the viaduct during the week of August 5, which will maintain one lane in each direction. A separate advisory will be sent with confirmed dates and further details. On Saturday 7/27, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Spruce Street between Sixth Street and Everett Ave will be closed, and traffic detoured one block to Arlington Street. More details on the project website, Traffic and Construction Updates page.

Work Hours

*Most work will occur in during daytime working hours (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take place during afternoon (2 p.m. – 7 p.m) and overnight hours (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m. – 2 p.m).

Summary of Work Completed

*In the two weeks prior to July 28, crews continued work on the bridge deck, cured concrete, repaired steel, bridge deck, and joints, installed dust containment systems, power washed and excavated support column footings, and placed concrete columns.

•Description of Scheduled Work

*Route 1 Northbound: Cure concrete using water hoses, install deck panels, repair and paint gutters and deflector plates, and repair steel, bridge deck, and joints. Clean water used to cure new concrete may drip off the structure due to the condition of the existing drainage system on the bridge. Additionally, bridge deck removal will continue on the right side of the work zone through the Chelsea Curves.

*Route 1 Southbound: Paint new deflector plates.

*Underneath the Structures: Replace and paint steel; continue to install dust containment systems; power wash and paint columns and support beams; excavate, drill, and grout around support columns; erect steel; and place new concrete columns. On Carter Street, beginning the week of August 5, excavation and removal of the median.

•Travel Tips

Drivers should take care to pay attention to all signage and move carefully through the work zone. Police details, changes in lane markings, temporary controls such as barriers and traffic cones, signage, and other tools will be used throughout the project to control traffic and create safe work zones.

The contractors are coordinating with local event organizers and police to provide awareness and manage traffic impacts during events. For your awareness, during this look-ahead period, the following events are scheduled:

*Red Sox (Fenway Park): August 1 at 7:10 p.m., August 5 at 7:10, August 6 at 7:10, August 7 at 7:10, August 8 at 7:10, August 8 at 7:10, August 10 at 4:05.

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Divide and Prosper : Division Street the Next Frontier to Enliven

Contractors engaged by the City of Chelsea will repave the length of Division Street this August, providing a major facelift to an alley that parallels Broadway through the downtown.

Leveraging this work, Chelsea Prospers, the City of Chelsea’s downtown initiative, is overseeing a public art project in the area. Working with the Downtown Coordinator, Neighborways Design is facilitating a community artmaking process to create and install public art and other improvements to beautify and activate the first block of Division Street between Hawthorne and Fourth streets.

This is the first important step to link the heart of downtown with the waterfront via a low-stress “Neighborway” street.

Neighborways in other parts of the country are known as neighborhood greenways or bicycle boulevards. Designed for low-traffic and low-speed, they are a child- and elder-friendly and engaging way to get around the city. Through public art the goal is to increase the safety of people walking and on bikes to make this street passageway an area where people, not just cars, feel welcome.

The long-term plan is to tackle Division Street block by block, bringing additional public art each summer all the way to the waterfront.

The art for the alley will be designed and implemented by local residents, retailers and building tenants who get to know each other through involvement in the design process and participation in creating the art and other treatments in the alley.

Throughout the summer the team of Neighborways Design is meeting with stakeholders at public events and in small groups to develop a design concept. Public artist Liz Lamanche is then synthesizing and refining these ideas into a cohesive design.

Contribute ideas to the design by visiting the Neighborways outreach table at the Chelsea Night Market on Saturday, Aug. 10. The team will be on hand between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. In case of rain the event will be rescheduled to Aug. 17.

The Community Painting Day to execute the design is scheduled for Saturday, August 24, starting at 9 a.m. when all are invited to execute the design.

In case of rain, the event will be held the following day on Sunday, August 25.

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Prattville Councillor Bob Bishop Won’t Seek Re-Election : Crowded Field Takes Shape as Candidates Pull Papers for…

Prattville City Councillor Bob Bishop said this week he will not seek re-election to a second term, leaving an open district seat for candidates to vie for.

“I’ve decided I’m not going to be running this time around,” he said. “We’ll see what transpires in the future, but I think I’ve had enough this time.”

Bishop was elected in 2017 to represent Prattville in District 1 after former Councillor Paul Murphy stepped away to spend more time with his growing young family. Bishop was the former City Clerk in Chelsea, and was an alderman back in the old form of government. He was a staunch fiscal conservative on the Council and a voice of restraint in a time when the City has spent a lot of money on improvements and programming.

He will continue to serve out his term, which ends in early January 2020.

Bishop did pull Nomination papers in May, but elected not to turn them in.

According to City records, that leaves only Todd Taylor right now on the list of candidates who have pulled papers.

Taylor narrowly lost to Bishop in the 2017 election, and has served on the Planning Board. He pulled papers for the seat on July 11.

Candidates have until Aug. 4 to turn in signatures on their Nomination Papers.

•In other Council election news, the at-large race has shown some real interest so far with all three incumbents pulling papers and three newcomers seeming looking to challenge.

Incumbents Damali Vidot (Council President), Roy Avellaneda and Leo Robinson have pulled their papers, and perhaps joining them on the ballot are Mark Rossi (who is currently the License Board Chair and lives on Clark Avenue), Karen Santos (Cook Street), and Christopher Winam (Congress Avenue).

In District 2, incumbent Luis Tejada has taken out his papers for a re-election run, and he is being challenged by Olivia Anne Walsh of the Soldiers’ Home and Melinda Vega Maldonado, of Clark Avenue.

In District 4, incumbent Enio Lopez could have a challenger in Nelson Molina, of Marlborough Street, who pulled his papers early on May 1.

District 5 Councillor Judith Garcia is set to run again for her seat, but she already has some competition in Jason Bonetti of Beacon Street.

In District 6, Councillor Giovanni Recupero has filed for re-election, but he has a possible challenger in Christopher Assante of Hawthorne Street.

Councillors Joe Perlatonda (District 3), Yamir Rodriguez (District 7) and Calvin Brown (District 8) have filed for re-election and have no challengers as of yet.

•The School Committee at-large race features incumbent Frank DePatto facing former member Sean O’Regan and newcomer Roberto Andres Jimenez-Rivera.

In District 1, incumbent Rosemarie Carlisle is facing two challengers, James O’Regan and Bruce Harrison.

In District 4, incumbent Lucia Henriquez has an opponent in Sabrina Marie Wadhams of Gerrish Avenue.

District 7 School Committeewoman Kelly Garcia has a potential challenger in former member Charles Klauder – who was on the Committee for a few terms awhile back.

In the other districts, the incumbents have pulled papers, but have not challenger as of yet.

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Island End River in the Midst of Major Flood Protection Project

Few places in the food supply chain for Greater Boston and beyond are more vulnerable than the New England Produce Center.

That huge food resource for the region, along with other industries, are very close to sea level and, as discovered a few years ago, very prone to flooding and sea level surges.

Now, the City of Chelsea is poised to begin a major project at the Island End River that will help to protect the industrial areas along Beacham Street and enhance the environment around the improving Island End River.

“That area is about six or seven feet above sea level now, and experts expect sea level and storm surges at 14 feet above sea level by the end of the century,” said Alex Train, of the Chelsea Planning Department. “This project is in concert with Everett and it’s gathered a lot of momentum. It’s a priority of the City Manager and our department because we understand how much is at risk. It’s a gamble otherwise and we don’t like to gamble in the planning industry.”

Such a gamble was clearly seen two winters ago when huge coastal surge storms lifted the water levels into the industrial areas along the Island End, nearly causing major disruptions and opening a lot of eyes to the vulnerability of the situation.

The project has been supported by a grant from the Coastal Zone Management Office, as well as the Chelsea and Everett City Councils.

The project includes gray infrastructure, such as flood walls and berms by the Island End River. It also includes green infrastructure with the restoration of the salt marshes abutting the Island End. At the same time, they will also be able to add some amenities for the public like a Boardwalk to connect to the Admiral’s Hill Marina area.

“It’s going to be a sizeable project, but in the context of the surrounding industrial businesses and the produce center, it’s easily a worthwhile initiative on our end,” said Train.

Right now, in Chelsea, they are at 60 percent engineering design on the project. Everett is a little bit further behind as they are in the Designated Port Area (DPA) and require many more steps. Everett is currently in a schematic design phase.

On the Chelsea side, Train said they will culminate design this summer, and then look for further grants this winter. Then they will engage in the final engineering, permitting and construction phases.

The project will also be tied into the large Beacham Street roadway, sidewalk and bike path improvements that are also coming soon.

A report in 2015 by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) showed that the Produce Center generates $2.3 billion of economic activity per year, and the entire industrial district generates $7 billion per year. There are 5,000 direct jobs there and 10,000 supportive jobs there.

“Many of that activity and those jobs benefit Chelsea and Everett residents and they are solid middle-class jobs and we’re committed to protecting them for our residents,” said Train.

Other Development Activity

•The City has received a PARC grant for rehabilitation of the O’Neil Playground on the hill up from Williams Street. The new design will encourage water features and tree canopies. The restoration will look to prevent heat islands and provide a cool place during the summer. The project is currently under construction and should be substantially completed by the fall. It came in at a cost of $884,000.

•The Eden Street playground is currently in design. The new design will also feature a robust tree canopy and more permeable surfaces. The project will be bid out in September, with a fall start. Construction will start up again in the spring for a substantial completion by summer 2020. That project was supported by a $400,000 PARC grant.

•Voke Park is another area that will soon receive more attention. The Bocce Court and fields were done over two years ago, but now it’s time for some attention to be paid to the playground. Already, they have had one public meeting to get input on the park, and they are working on conceptual designs now.

“We’ll apply for a grant in July to secure funding,” said Train.

Design will be done in June 2020 and construction on that is likely to be 2021.

•The City is preparing to modernize the traffic signals and intersections at Williams/Chestnut and Williams/Broadway this summer. That upgrade will include new Smart Traffic Signals that are able to read the traffic flow and adjust signal timing on the fly. One of those lights has already been installed on Broadway and Webster earlier this year. Sidewalks will also be touched up as well.

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GreenWay Project Will Complete Final Leg of Silver Line Extension in Chelsea

The Chelsea GreenWay project is fully under construction this week, and City officials expect to have the multi-million dollar job substantially completed by the fall.

The GreenWay project came through a $1.1 million commitment to the City from the state, as well as funds from the City Council to complete the beautification of the shared use path along the new Silver Line.

The Chelsea GreenWay project is currently underway on the shared use adjacent to the Silver Line. Land-scaping and extensive tree plantings of native species is expected to be completed in November.The project is the final piece-aside from the new commuter rail station of the Silver Line extension in Chelsea

“This final part of the Silver Line project will result in such enhancements as the planting of more than 500 trees and several parcels will be landscaped, and there will also be hardscape plazas at key entryways such as Chestnut Street and Highland Street,” said Alex Train of the Planning Department.

That project goes from Eastern Avenue where the shared use path stats and concludes at Chestnut Street.

After that, there will be on-street improvements to continue the walking path such as signage, sidewalk replacement and crosswalk enhancements – filling out the walking path from one end of the project to the end at Market Basket.

Train said this is also an opportunity to plant more native trees that aren’t necessarily common in Chelsea.

“I think there is a real opportunity in the planting program,” he said. “This is one of the most intensive planting of local native species. These are trees that are native to the area, but may not be prevalent anymore.”

The idea with the GreenWay is to take pieces like the Chelsea stretch and connect it to other greenways and paths, such as the East Boston GreenWay and Everett’s Northern Strand Trail. Connecting those paths can create a network for alternative transportation that most planners only dreamed of a few years ago.

“We’re working very close now with an organization called the Land Line Coalition, which is working to try to connect all of these greenways together,” he said.

The same is true for the Silver Line’s potential expansion into Everett and Cambridge – a plan that is being considered by the MBTA in the near future.

“We are ready to expand the GreenWay network if the Silver Line expands into Everett and to the casino and beyond,” he said. “That could be a tremendous connection for our residents.”

Work will continue throughout 2019 on the project, though it is expected to be finished in November, with punch list items finishing next spring.

The contractor on the project is D’Allesandro of Avon.

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Police Briefs 06-13-2019

By Seth Daniel and Paul Koolloian


Missing Child Reunited with Parents

On June 4, Chelsea Police reunited a missing 10-year-old Chelsea girl with her parents on after the Kelly school student told officers she fell asleep on the MBTA bus she takes home from school. The juvenile told officers she ended up at the Maverick Square MBTA station where she became confused and proceeded onto another MBTA bus that she was unfamiliar with. At some point, she left the bus in the area of North Shore Road in Revere where she began to walk on the busy road. During this time, the parents responded to the police station to report their daughter missing. Officers used the young girl’s cell phone to “ping” her location in Revere. While Chelsea, Transit and Revere Police were searching the area the young girl was located by an MBTA bus driver who transported her to the Wonderland “T” Station in Revere. She was then reunited back with her parents at Chelsea Police Headquarters. Chelsea officers are working with the parents and the school in addressing future transportation options for the young girl who was unharmed in the incident.

Struggle Without a Shirt

On May 27, at 1:20 a.m., officers responded to the area 176 Clark Ave. for a report of a disturbance. The report to officers was that witnesses were reporting they saw a male who appeared drunk, with no t-shirt on, fighting with a female who was preventing him from getting into the home. Officers struggled with the male in attempting to calm him down. After a struggle to restrain him, he was placed into custody. The male was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation prior to being booked at CPD.

Eber Orantes, 33, of 176 Clark Ave., was charged with disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting arrest.

Threated With Strange Weapon

On May 30, at 9:20 p.m., officers responded in the area of Normandy Road at Garfield Avenue for a report of a road rage incident involving a firearm. Officers were given the description of the vehicle in question. It was said to be a black Honda Accord operating on Normandy Road. CPD officers located the vehicle and found the subject to have a modified instrument that resembled a firearm. The victim in the other vehicle provided other information that led to the male being arrested.

Tanvir Zahir, 21, of Stoneham, was charged with violating the motor vehicle ordinance, violating the dangerous weapons ordinance, and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Swallowed Bag of Crack

On May 31, at 9:30 a.m., Officers observed a male party known to them from previous drug offenses walking with an unknown male on Chestnut Street near Fourth Street. The officers believed they then witnessed a drug transaction between the two. The subject admitted he swallowed a bag of “crack “ when he was approached by the officers. A search of his person uncovered more drugs and he was placed under arrest. The second male was identified and placed under arrest on the scene. The subject who ingested the narcotics was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation.

Argenis Felipe, 33, of East Boston, was charged with possession to distribute a Class B drug (crack), conspiracy, and distribution of a Class B drug.

Box Cutter

On May 31, at 11 a.m., officers were dispatched to the parking lot of 260 Clark Ave. for a fight in progress. Officers observed two tenants of the building in an argument. One tenant accused the second of threatening him with a box cutter. That item was retrieved and that male was taken into custody.

Jody Robinson, 59, of 260 Clark Ave., was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

Swerved at Pedestrian

On June 1, at 9:10 a.m., an off-duty CPD officer was traveling on Hawthorne Street towards Chester Avenue when he saw a male party crossing the street. The officer noticed a Toyota Corolla laying on his horn and then began to intentionally drive towards the male party that was crossing the road. The victim had to jump four to six feet to his rear to avoid being struck by the vehicle.

The officer believed the operator swerved in his direction deliberately trying to strike the victim, which could have resulted in serious injuries. CPD officers responded to assist and the male operator was placed in custody for assault with a dangerous weapon.

Eduardo Garcia, 35, of East Boston, was charged with failing to slow, reckless operation, and assault with a dangerous weapon (car).

MS-13 Member Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

An MS-13 member was sentenced last week for being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Nery Rodriguez Diaz, 19, a Salvadoran national who resided in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Diaz will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence.

On May 22, 2018, Diaz and another MS-13 member, Elmer Alfaro Hercules, were arrested in possession of loaded firearms in Bremen Street Park in East Boston, a location where numerous MS-13 gang members have been observed and where gang-on-gang violence frequently occurs.

The investigation revealed that Diaz and Hercules each separately and unlawfully entered the United States in 2014 as unaccompanied minors. Both Diaz and Hercules were charged federally for being aliens in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Hercules previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Hercules will also be subject to deportation proceedings after the completion of his sentence.

Chelsea Gang Leader Sentenced to Over 15 years in Prison

A leader of the East Side Money Gang (ESMG) was sentenced last week in federal court in Boston on racketeering, drug trafficking and firearms trafficking charges.

Angel “Stackz” Mejia Zelaya, 24, of Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 188 months in prison and five years of supervised release. In January 2019, Mejia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license.

Mejia was a leader in the ESMG, a violent, Chelsea-based street gang, which was responsible for various violent crimes, including multiple shootings, and drug distribution in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia, as well as other members and associates of the gang, were also actively involved in illegally selling firearms, including handguns and shotguns, in and around Chelsea.

Mejia participated in multiple, gang-related shootings.

On July 5, 2015, Mejia was involved in a shooting targeting a rival gang member on a public street in Chelsea, which did not result in the rival gang member being injured. On March 29, 2016, Mejia and his lieutenant, Josue “Superbad” Rodriguez, agreed to provide a .22 caliber revolver to a third ESMG member, Brandon “Big Baby” Baez, so that Baez could “spank” with it – meaning that he could use it against rivals of ESMG. On April 3, 2016, in Revere, Baez used the revolver to attempt to murder two men believed to be members/associates of a rival gang as they sat in a vehicle. Both men were wounded, but not killed. Baez called Mejia immediately after the shooting to inform Mejia that Baez had just shot two men. Mejia further admitted to supplying other ESMG gang members with firearms, including a juvenile who then accidently shot another person.

While Mejia was the leader of the ESMG, the gang dealt substantial quantities of drugs, including cocaine and cocaine base (crack), in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia was responsible for the distribution of at least a kilogram of cocaine base. Mejia and his gang subordinates stored drugs at and distributed drugs from a residence on Tudor Street in Chelsea and another residence in the Chelsea area. The gang kept handguns at both locations to protect their drug operations, as well as for other gang activities.

The prosecution of Mejia arose out of an investigation of various street gangs, including the 18th Street Gang, ESMG and the Boylston Street Gang, which were responsible for fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts. During the course of the investigation, more than 70 firearms were seized.

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Chelsea Night Market Inaugural Event Planned for June 8

How much awesomeness can be contained within Luther Place?

The people of Chelsea will soon find out as the first of a series of five monthly events takes place downtown on Saturday, June 8, with the launch of the Chelsea Night Market.

Presented by the City of Chelsea through its downtown initiative called Chelsea Prospers and local events production company Jukebox, the Chelsea Night Market is an ambitious undertaking for a hidden corner of the downtown that’s beginning to awaken.

Last year, GreenRoots took the lead in the block’s transformation by creating a colorful mural with Chelsea artist and one of the state’s top muralists Silvia López Chavez on the Chelsea Walk.

That pedestrian walkway provides the entrance to the next phase of the effort with activation of the space through the Chelsea Night Market.

Edwardo Chacon of Jukebox said, “Vendors are still being accepted for future markets and there’s always room for more artists and performers to join in. Our priority is to engage as much local talent as possible. We’re excited by all the energy growing around the market and the new connections we’re making. This is going to be epic.”

Here, in the large parking lot on Cherry Street behind the businesses on Broadway between Fourth and Fifth Streets, event visitors every month will find the area transformed with activity and something new to discover on each visit.

More than a dozen booths will feature local businesses, artists, merchants and community groups. Merchandise includes both new, vintage, thrift and handcrafted items.

Jack’s Men’s Shop will highlight emerging brands for men’s fashion, while Allen’s Cut Rate features a selection of high-quality fragrances. You’ll find hand-crafted jewelry by Beaded Inspiration and Sacred Soul Fire. Over at the booths for Dandelion District and High Energy Vintage there’s a variety of vintage items including old school video games, nicnacks and clothing.

At Jukebox’s booth, show off your local pride with swag that shouts your love of all things 02150. Among the offerings are T-shirts and totes emblazoned with Chelsea. All proceeds are dedicated to supporting the next projects to improve Luther Place.

A variety of other tents will feature community groups and artists.

Test your aim with Archery Games Boston, show off what you’re proud of with the Chelsea LGBTQ Coalition, and play around with the team from the Phoenix Charter Academy Chelsea.

Several local restaurants are on board with menus of street food as well.

Get a sandwich hot off the grill from the chefs of Broadway House of Pizza, nibble savory Chinese food from Chung Wah, or sink your teeth into an empanada from Pan y Café.

On the main stage a variety of performers will entertain the crowd.

MC for the night is comedian and actor Chase Abel. Host of the podcast “Ready Set Blow” with Randy V, he’s a regular at Boston’s top clubs.

Among them is a band headed by Bengisu and Tuzcu.

It’s impossible to describe their mix of Turkish-funk-rock, but it will definitely get a groove going.

DJ Tempo Sauve’s upbeat house electronica is gathering a strong following, and he’ll keep the energy going throughout the night. There’s a rumor some comedians from the recent show at Tu Casa may stop by too.

The performance highlight, however, undoubtedly will be the crew from the Boston Circus Guild. They’ll be roaming among the crowd to show off their amazing skills and costumes and then at 9:30 p.m., will take the stage for a 20-minute fire performance that will top off the night.

Serving as a backdrop to the main stage and to provide a tangible reminder of the market through the summer, the wall of 456 Broadway will serve as space for temporary mini murals with new designs appearing each month by local artists.

The Chelsea Night Market team is grateful for the support of the Chelsea Record as a media sponsor helping them to spread the word about the upcoming event and to highlight the new happenings of downtown Chelsea.

For additional information check out the Chelsea Night Market’s website at www.chelseanightmarket.com, the facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/529915294079626/ or contact at Mimi Graney, at mgraney@chelseama.gov

Future dates include:

•July 13 (raindate 7/20)

•August 10 (raindate 8/17)

•September 21 (raindate 9/28)

•October 5 (raindate 10/12)

CITY OF CHELSEA, MA

Department of Planning and Development

City Hall, 500 Broadway, Room 301 · Chelsea, MA 02150

Phone: 617.555.1708 · Fax: 617.658.6725 · Email: deptemail@chelseama.gov

CITY OF CHELSEA, MA

Department of Planning and Development

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