Road Construction on Main St. Begins Dec. 10

Replacing Cambridge's old sewer system has been a decades-long task.

Replacing Cambridge’s old sewer system has been a decades-long task. When the Longfellow Bridge was built in the early 1900s, Cambridge’s sewers were already more than forty years old. Image via Wikipedia.

Drivers and cyclists planning to use the Longfellow Bridge this winter should be aware of a new phase of Cambridge’s ongoing sewer separation project. Beginning Monday, December 10, construction will take place on Main St. between Third St. and the Longfellow Bridge. Crews will work from 7am-4pm every weekday (weather permitting), and this phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in January 2013.

Construction will shut down all but one westbound lane of Main St. between the Longfellow and Kendall Square. The affected section of Main St. will also be designated a no parking zone while the crews are at work.

The sewer separation project has been going on for the last eighty years. That sounds like a long time, and it is, but the system being replaced is more than 150 years old! Cambridge’s original sewer system was designed before anyone even thought about separating sewage from rain water, when we all thought we could just dump waste into the Charles with impunity.

Our old sewers have served the City well, but they need to be replaced with a smarter, greener system. Separated sewers allow wastewater to be treated at Deer Island rather than simply dumped in the Charles, and that’s well-worth a couple weeks’ inconvenience. If you have any questions or concerns about sewer construction along Main St., please contact my office or the City of Cambridge’s Brian McLane¬†at

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