Main South project to pave way for shared athletic field, lighted bike path

Following is a news release issued today (Dec. 23) by the office of Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus:

A nearly $3 million federal earmark secured by Rep. James McGovern will kick-start a long awaited athletic field and bring a lighted bike path and roadway improvements to the Main South neighborhood.

The Gardner Kilby Hammond Bike Path and Roadway Improvement Project is currently advertised for bid though MassDOT, and construction is expected to begin in Spring 2015. The estimated cost is approximately $3,000,000.

“This project, which will bring more access to green space and outdoor recreation opportunities to the neighborhood, is just another step towards a rejuvenated Main South,” said City Manager Augustus. “I want to thank Congressman McGovern and all of our project partners for making this happen.”

A lighted bike path, located just north of the Boys and Girls Club, will provide additional pedestrian and bike access to this facility for the Main South neighborhood. Improvements will be made to Kilby Street and Gardner Street, including street light modifications, sidewalk replacement, curb resetting, roadway mill and overlay, and full depth pavement repairs as necessary. The roadway portion of the project will also include additional crosswalks and shared roadway markings to tie the improvements into the bike path.

At a March 2011 press conference on Kilby Street: From left, then Worcester City Manager Michael O’Brien, Congressman James McGovern, Stephen Teasdale, Executive Director of the Main South CDC, and Clark University President David Angel. (Clark File Photo) At a March 2011 press conference on Kilby Street: From left, then Worcester City Manager Michael O’Brien, Congressman James McGovern, Stephen Teasdale, Executive Director of the Main South CDC, and Clark University President David Angel. (Clark File Photo)

“I’m so pleased that this project has reached such an important milestone,” Rep. McGovern said. “Access to green space should be available to everyone, no matter what your neighborhood. I commend City Manager Augustus and all those who worked so hard to bring us to this point.”

The project is another in a series of collaborations between the city, the federal government and Clark University to revitalize Main South. In 2011, the Main South Community Development Corporation federal low-income housing tax credits to build 22 affordable housing units as part of the ongoing Kilby-Gardner-Hammond Neighborhood Revitalization Project. On nearby Grand Street, The Community Builders, a non-profit community housing developer, has begun work to convert the vacant 1.7 acre Crompton Knowles Mill building site into 94 units of affordable housing, with help from city and federal funds.

This project will include a number of infrastructure improvements, including a retaining wall that will enable Clark University to start work on a new 7.5-acre athletic field and track. The field and track will be for the use of the university and the Boys and Girls Club.

Clark expects the athletic field to be built in 2016, following completion of the retaining wall in 2015.

“This new field will provide the University with needed space for intercollegiate and intramural athletic events, but also offer the Boys and Girls Club the use of athletic fields that are currently not available to the young people in our community. This new athletic field will act as a major anchor with the Boys and Girls Club facility and the extensive housing renovations by the Main South Community Development Corporation in the successful revitalization of the Kilby-Gardner-Hammond neighborhood,” Clark University President David Angel said. “Congressman McGovern has been a tremendously effective leader and advocate in this neighborhood work for decades and Clark applauds the congressman for his continued support.”

Tighe & Bond, Inc. is the design engineer for the project. Funding for construction comes from a $2.9 million federal earmark obtained through the office of Congressman McGovern. Project design was funded by the city, in partnership with MassDOT, for about $350,000.

Augustus thanked the many partners who will make this project possible:

Related stories:

Clark University among partners lauded for Main South housing

Carnegie Foundation recognizes Clark community engagement

Funding secured for Main South revitalization