Race Street re­opens, Hearn Build­ing sta­bi­lized

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ vic­to­ri­adorstar and on In­sta­gram @ dorch­ester.star.

CAM­BRIDGE — Af­ter nearly seven months, the 500 block of Race Street was re­opened to traf­fic on Mon­day, May 16.

Res­i­dents and down­town own­ers are re­joic­ing that has been re­solved.

Mark Sim­mons, owner of Mark’s Mulch, said his busi­ness has been down nearly thirty per­cent, ow­ing largely to the lack of ac­cess caused by the street clo­sure.

In late Oc­to­ber 2015, the 100-yearold build­ing suf­fered a par­tial col­lapse of its south wall, prompt­ing the clo­sure of the street and a por­tion of the side­walk busi­ness this hin­drance due to safety con­cerns.

More than $600,000 in grant money was awarded to de­sign and com­plete the sta­bi­liza­tion of the build­ing’s front fa­cade. Work be­gan on the project in late March.

“I’m frus­trated that it took seven months to get it done, but I’m ex­tremely pleased with the co­op­er­a­tion among the city, county and state to come up with the nec­es­sary fund­ing, and to get the work done lo­cally on site. We hired lo­cal con­trac­tors, and are very happy with the work they have done,” said Dorch­ester County Coun­cil pres­i­dent and down­town busi­ness owner Ricky Travers.

Ac­cord­ing to the county, the next phase of the project will in­volve re­mov­ing the de­bris from in­side the build­ing and sta­bi­liz­ing the south wall. Cost and fund­ing sources for fur­ther work have not yet been de­ter­mined.

“To date, no lo­cal tax­payer money was used on the project,” Travers said. “It is a bless­ing to see the street open right now, and we look now to move to the next step.”

The even­tual goal for the Hearn build­ing is to put the prop­erty in the hands of a de­vel­oper who will re­store it.

The city and county will con­tinue to work in co­or­di­na­tion in re­gards to the prop­erty.

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