The Thorndike Street Improvements project is moving into the next stage of construction and we have an update on the Hamilton Canal Innovation District construction work!

Asphalt Patches in Place on Thorndike Street

We know that some have been having difficulty crossing the gravel patches on Thorndike Street. The catch basin work happening in those areas has been completed and patched with asphalt. However, please continue to exercise caution as you drive through the area between Highland Street and the driveway of the Gallagher Terminal. There may still be loose gravel.

                                                                                            Thorndike Street

                                                                                          Thorndike Street

Next Week: Mast Arms at Highland Street

There will be some daytime work on Thorndike Street beginning as early as next Monday, May 21. The contractor will install the new mast arms that will hold up traffic signals at Highland Street. A police detail will be provided. The contractor does not expect significant traffic impacts from this work.

                                                               The Intersection of Highland and Thorndike Streets

                                                             The Intersection of Highland and Thorndike Streets

Sewer Installation Begins at the Hamilton Canal Innovation District

Over at the Hamilton Canal Innovation District, the contractor is waiting for all utilities to be relocated away from the new sidewalk bridges that will be installed at the bridge over the Merrimack Canal into the district. In the meantime, they are busy with installing the sewer in district! If you walk past the construction site, you’ll see the large sewer pipes and manholes that will be installed over the coming days. The contractor has been given permission to work through Memorial Day to stay on schedule.

                                        The Hamilton Canal Innovation District Phase 2 Project as Viewed from Canal Street

                                      The Hamilton Canal Innovation District Phase 2 Project as Viewed from Canal Street


Now that the weather's warming up, construction is moving in full swing on Hamilton Canal Innovation District Phase II and the Thorndike Street Widening. We have many updates to share with you!

Thorndike Street Widening Project

Last month, the project to add an additional lane to Thorndike between the Lord Overpass and the Lowell Connector began. This additional lane will be for dedicated left turns and will tie into future projects at the Overpass and at the Connector on-ramps. Drivers should anticipate lane closures during the night work hours between 9 pm and 5 am, but we do not anticipate any necessary detours. A police detail is always provided.

Pedestrian Detour

The second pedestrian detour has been installed. This is a temporary ADA-compliant path around bridge abutment work. This detour will be in place until after the new sidewalks on both sides of the existing bridge are installed. Please follow the signs and use caution as you walk through the area.


                                                                    Pedestrian Detour Area

                                                                   Pedestrian Detour Area

                                               Pedestrian Detour Map

                                              Pedestrian Detour Map

In this same area, you may see steel beams crossing the canals. These are temporary utility supports that will be removed after those sidewalks are completed and the utilities are moved under the new sidewalks.

                                                                   Temporary Utility Support

                                                                  Temporary Utility Support

Soldier Piles

You may notice a line of beams coming out of the ground roughly parallel with the future signature bridge. These are called soldier piles, and will support a retaining wall that will hold the earth and future street at the surface level when we excavate for the future garage's basement. This work means the project is closer to installing the new bridge.

Soldier Piles.jpg

Lots to Like About Lowell Signs

Finally, we've decorated the construction fencing near the Lowell National Historical Park parking lot with banners about the project and about downtown attractions. We hope visitors to Lowell will enjoy the banners, learn about the project, and be inspired to visit Lowell's many restaurants and shops. Please let us know if you have any other ideas to promote Lowell's businesses this summer!

lots to like about Lowell signs.jpg

Let Us Know How We're Doing!

Please direct any comments or questions to HCID@lowellma.gov, or call (978) 674-1405 and the Department of Planning and Development staff will direct your concerns to the appropriate party. This also helps us keep track of feedback from the public, good and bad! Don't hesitate to call 911 immediately for any emergencies.  Thank you for helping us be our best!



Pile Driving Delayed

March's multiple snow storms delayed pile driving, but the contractor now expects to begin today or next week. This is an exciting phase of the project, because it is the first step in constructing the footings for the Signature Bridge. Please don't be alarmed if there are loud noises.  This should occur during work hours between 7:00 am and 4:00 pm throughout the next couple weeks.

                                                           Location of the Signature Bridge Footing

                                                         Location of the Signature Bridge Footing

Work at Broadway and Dutton

The contractor anticipates completing geotechnical work starting 9:00 am on Monday, 4/9/18. This involves setting up a drilling rig and taking soil samples to determine how the new signal mast arm must be anchored to the ground. The contractor expects the work to take less than four hours and involve closing a lane on either Broadway or Dutton, depending on what physical obstructions the drilling rig must maneuver around. A police detail will be on-site during the work.

Penstock Surprise

Finally, an interesting item of note: the old penstocks that used to carry water from the canals and through the turbines prior to 1910, when mills still stood on the site, were scheduled to be filled last week. When the contractor dug a pit to determine the exact location of the penstocks, they discovered they had already been filled in, perhaps when the previous structure was built on the site in the 1950s. This reduced the cost of the project and is a great example of how even with careful research, we never know what is underground until we start digging.

    A worker stands on the filled-in penstock. The circular area behind him is where a water power turbine used                                                                to be more than 100 years ago.

  A worker stands on the filled-in penstock. The circular area behind him is where a water power turbine used                                                                to be more than 100 years ago.

If There Are Problems, Let Us Know!

As always, please email the Department of Planning and Development at HCID@lowellma.gov or call (978) 674-1405 with any questions or concerns. Don't hesitate to call 911 immediately for any emergencies.


Pedestrian Detour

The fencing is up on the Streets F&G project and the first pedestrian detour is in place! Pedestrians must now take the upper path (the left side of the following photo) to walk around the site. The work taking place on the site this week largely consists of earth work to prepare the site for utilities and roads. One other pedestrian detour is planned near the Broadway Street bridge. We anticipate this will be constructed sometime in the coming month.

pedestrian detour

Pile Driving

Starting next week, neighbors to the project may hear some pile driving during the day. These piles will support the new signature bridge. The contractor is carefully monitoring the canal walls to ensure vibration or any other construction activity won't cause damage to the walls. This activity should only take place during working hours from 7 am to 4 pm.

Hamilton Canal Innovation District Garage

Design of the new City parking garage proposed for Parcel 14, near Canal Place 3, is ongoing and nearing completion. It is anticipated to contain between 920 and 980 spaces. The design should be completed in approximately one month to allow for the project to go out to bid and begin construction this summer.

See Something, Say Something

Finally, please alert us if you see any suspicious activity at or around the construction site! Between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, please call the Department of Planning and Development at (978) 674-4252, and the receptionist will direct your call as appropriate. Outside those hours, please call the police non-emergency line at (978) 937-3200. As always, call 911 immediately for any emergencies. Thank you for helping us keep the construction site and the neighborhood safe!

see something, say something.jpg


The Streets F&G Project is moving forward in the Hamilton Canal Innovation District! It will proceed throughout the year, Monday through Saturday, and is currently projected to be largely complete by the end of 2018. This project will improve the existing bridge and driveway into the NPS Parking Lot into a street, complete with sidewalks, streetlamps, trees, and utilities; it will build a brand-new Signature Bridge; and it will create two new streets with development-ready sites. Our contractor, Newport Construction, has been surveying the site over the last few weeks. Starting this week, neighbors and commuters will see the work commencing!



Construction Fence

This week, Newport plans to erect construction fences around the site. After the fences are up, they will begin preparing to construct the footings and substructure of the Signature Bridge over the Pawtucket Canal. The approximate fenced area is shown in orange on the map. Please note: there will be work that takes place on driveways and roadways outside of the construction fence over the summer.

Pedestrian Detour

Because Newport will be improving the existing Broadway bridge into the site, the Canalway must be blocked prior to its crossing Broadway. Newport will construct a pedestrian detour complete with safety barriers, ADA-compliant ramps, and marked crosswalks around the construction area and outside the NPS Bus parking lot. The approximate route is shown in green on the map.

Closed Parking

Finally, the NPS parking lot bay closest to Dutton Street will need to be closed for the remainder of the project to facilitate the bridge work. The impacted parking is represented in red on the map. We regret any inconvenience this will create.

We’ll keep you up to date on their progress in the coming weeks! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.