Adapted from an article from the Newton-Needham Chamber
Funding for the long-delayed upgrade of Needham Street and Highland Avenue was approved today by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Today’s vote means that funds for the project will be available for construction to begin starting in 2018.
The project will stretch roughly two miles, from Webster Street in Needham to Route 9 in Newton. It will widen Needham Street and Highland Avenue and their sidewalks, improve intersections, add bikes lanes and crossing signals, and rehabilitate the bridge over the Charles River.
The Boston MPO is the regional body that oversees federal and state transportation spending, including the region’s share of the federal gasoline tax.
The strong support of the MPO, the partnership of leaders of Needham and Newton and the unwavering advocacy of the legislative delegation including Rep. Denise Garlick, Sen. Mike Rush and Sen. Richard Ross have contributed to this important decision which will have a positive impact for our community.
The corridor project is estimated to cost $14 million. Last year, Newton and Needham received a $3.3 million state MassWorks grant for Needham to begin work between First and Second avenues and for Newton to reconfigure the intersection around Oak and Christina streets. Both of these developments have reduced the cost of the project.
Although money for the project has been secured the final design process as well as permitting and some land taking needs to be completed.