May 2023

Whittemore Ave neighborhood area and North Parking Lots:

  • Building 1: Ongoing activities related to interior construction
  • Building 2: Continued construction activity

Large white tents #1 and #2 are in the footprint of Building 3 and will be active with soil disturbing activities.  Large white tent #3 is currently in the footprint of Building 4 and will be active with soil disturbing activities.  Large white tent #4 has been placed in the footprint of Building 4 and will begin soil disturbing activities by mid-May.  The partial large white tent, known as tent #5, has been removed from between Buildings 1 and 2.    

In early May, pile driving activities will continue  in the footprint of Building 5 and in the loading dock area between Buildings 1 &2.  By mid-May, all pile driving activities will pause till mid-August.

A pile foundation is defined as a series of steel beams inserted into the ground to transmit loads to a lower level of subsoil. A vibratory hammer is a machine attached to a boom crane, that holds the pile vertical and vibrates it into the ground. Piles are vibrated and pushed into the ground to act as a steady support for structures built on top of them. Piles transfer the loads from structures to hard strata, rocks, or soil with high bearing capacity. 

Piles are initially driven using a vibratory hammer.  This method typically has less noise and a small vibration footprint.  Once piles are driven to the required depth at bedrock, the piles are then finished by mean of impact hammer. A pile impact hammer is a machine that hammers it into the bedrock. Blows are repeated by lifting a heavy weight and dropping it on top of the pile. Piles should be hammered into the ground until the refusal point is reached, which is the point where a pile cannot be driven into the soil any farther. Typically, each pile would receive somewhere between 10 & 20 plows before reaching its refusal point.

Eversource electrical utility work at the end of Harvey Street started during the 2nd week in May.  This will bring underground power to the site for our temporary construction electrical substation.  Temporary overhead electrical lines and poles have been installed throughout the site for the distribution of construction related electricity.

Modifications and improvements to the public pathways on the west side of the property running from Whittemore Ave down along Parkway Pond to the MBTA Headhouse Plaza has been completed. DCR recently repaved a majority of the path. Activation of the emergency call box phones on the most southern section is expected to be completed in May.

Two generators currently run 24/7 to power the following critical operations.  These generators were granted a noise ordinance variance by the City of Cambridge Licensing Commission.

  • Fire alarm systems in Building 1 and Building 2
  • Provide freeze protection for Building 1 Cambridge Fire Department wall hydrant connection
  • Perimeter site security lighting
  • Perimeter air and noise monitoring
  • Excavation dewatering activities

Other generators run during regular working hours to support a variety of construction activities.