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Highland Ave. Detour, Donate to Families in Need, and More!


Eversource hears from neighbors on future of electrical infrastructure within a changing urban landscape

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Highland Avenue Detour Begins

Starting this week, City contractors will begin digging up Highland Avenue to perform subsurface utility improvements. This detour is expected to last two to three months.

During this phase of the project, Highland Avenue will be closed to westbound traffic between School Street and Central Street from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Westbound traffic will be detoured south on School Street and west on Summer Street before turning right on Lowell Street to return to Highland Avenue.

The eastbound travel lane will be maintained as usual. All businesses will remain open and accessible during construction.

Sidewalk access for pedestrians may be restricted at times to facilitate construction of new utilities within the sidewalks. Temporary sidewalks will be installed to maintain safe crossings so as not to impede pedestrian travel, and allow access to businesses and residences along the affected stretch.

MBTA buses 88 and 90 will be allowed to proceed along Highland in both directions during the detour. However, stops at School Street, Trull Lane and Central Street may be temporarily closed to accommodate the utility work.

Please note that this project does not include any streetscape improvements on Highland Avenue. A separate, future project will incorporate new streetscape designs and roadway resurfacing. 

If you have questions, please email, or call the Engineering Division at 617-625-6600, ext. 5400.


Donate gifts for families in need

In the giving spirit of the season, the City will have toy and gift donation boxes in municipal buildings through Sunday, Dec. 18, to support two community toy drives for families in need of gifts for children and teens this holiday season.

You can bring unwrapped toys and gifts for children and teens of all ages, and they will be distributed to families by two local organizations: Toys for Local Children and MAMAs (Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville). 

Donation boxes are available at these locations:

  • City Hall, 93 Highland Ave., 2nd floor
  • Somerville Central Library, 79 Highland Ave.
  • Somerville West Branch Library, 40 College Ave.
  • Somerville East Library, 115 Broadway
  • City Hall Annex, 50 Evergreen St.
  • DPW Building, One Franey Rd.
  • Council on Aging Offices, 167 Holland St.
  • Somerville Police Headquarters lobby, 220 Washington St.


Live Chamber Music Can Be ‘WONDeROUS’

WONDeROUS: Live Chamber Music and Light Show will be performed on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Mystic Activity Center, 530 Mystic Ave.

The program is presented by Around Hear, an innovative community initiative that performs free concerts and arts-based social and educational activities for low-income residents of Somerville.

Since 2017, Around Hear has been offering opportunities for people from a wide spectrum of life experiences to gather, listen, learn, and create with a shared spirit of friendliness, openness, and fun.

Performers include Marji Gere, Dan Sedgwick, Harshitha Krishnan, the Mystic All-Ages Community Choir, and Around Hear’s piano and string classes, with video by Allison Tanenhaus and Vidumami. The program features Fantasie in C major for violin and piano, D. 934 by Franz Schubert, selected songs from “Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants” by Stevie Wonder, and hits by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Jorge Ben.

The event is free and open to all ages. Tasty treats will be provided. Masks are encouraged.

Around Hear programs are brought to life through partnerships with the Mystic Learning Center, the Somerville Housing Authority, the Mystic Tenant Association, The Welcome Project, and musicians from Boston and beyond, and supported by a grant from the Somerville Arts Council, an agency of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Photo credit: Looking out of the MBTA elevator toward the Eversource Union Square substation. Photo by Russell Adams. Copyright 2022 Russell Adams. Used with permission.

All Somerville Wire articles may be republished by community news outlets free of charge with permission and by larger commercial news outlets for a fee. Republication requests and all other inquiries should be directed to Somerville Wire articles are also syndicated by BINJ’s MassWire state news service at


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Linda Pinkow is a reporter for the Somerville Wire. She is also a development consultant for the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

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