BWH gives updates on local projects

Mission Hill residents near 15 Francis St. can expect to see around 30 dump truck runs a day going down the street starting in January as part of the ongoing project in Brigham Circle.

That was one of several updates given on upcoming construction projects, including also a new Roxbury Tenants of Harvard (RTH) community center and a Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) research building at the former Massachusetts Mental Health Center site. About 40 people attended the Oct. 3 meeting held by RTH at the Parks Community Center. RTH manages Mission Park.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is building a 400-car underground garage and surface park at 15 Francis St in Brigham Circle, which has been dubbed the Brigham Green project.

Brad Forrest of Walsh Brothers, the construction management company for the project, said that a lot of utility work has been done at the site and it has a “clear footprint” now. He said that beginning in January, there will be 30 dump truck runs a day from the site for removal of the soil.

The trucking will last until March when drilling and blasting starts, according to Forrest. That will last about two-and-a-half months.

Resident Theresa Parks questioned what the blasting would do to surrounding homes.

Forrest assured her that a thorough engineering process would be done before the blasting and monitors would be placed at the fence lines. He said the effect of the blasting would be similar to trains going by.

Jason Seaburg of Suffolk Construction gave an update on the Brigham and Women’s research building to be built at the former Massachusetts Mental Health Center site. He said steel is expected to start going in the ground in 2015 and the project completed in 2016. He said it is a long project and a lot of planning needs to be done.

Susan Wladwoski took exception to the presenters calling the project a “research” building.

“Call it what it is,” she said. “It is a biolab.”

Joe O’Farrell of BWH said that the building will do research on major diseases. It is not like a controversial Level 4 biolab in the South End, which researches the world’s most deadliest pathogens, said O’Farrell.

This article has been updated. A previous version gave an incorrect name for Brad Forrest and incorrectly stated that steel would go in the ground in 2014. It also stated that Joe O’Farrell said that the research building would be a Level 1 biolab. BWH is clarifying that the exact nature of the research building has not been determined. 

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