Update: 40 Thorndike begins mobilization for interior abatement
Read Update >

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the scope of this project?

Transformation of a decommissioned 1970s era jail and courthouse previously owned by the State into an innovative mixed-use project.

Q: What will be the final use of the new buildings?

Mixed use, including: 409,000 sf of office/R&D space, 48 units of affordable rental housing, ground floor retail, childcare and community space.

Q: What are the construction work hours for the project?

The City of Cambridge Noise Ordinance specifies that construction work is permitted to be performed between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM on weekdays and between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Saturdays; however, construction activities are typically completed by approximately 4:00 PM each day. It should be noted that there may be times when certain construction activities continue past these normal working hours due to safety reasons or the nature of the specific construction means and methods being used (e.g. large concrete placements). Proper City permits and approvals will be obtained and advanced notice will be provided in cases when construction activities need to extend beyond the normal working hours.

Q: How will impacts to the surrounding community be addressed during the construction?

We have implemented a comprehensive construction mitigation program that aims to minimize or eliminate negative impacts to the surrounding abutters, the City, and community, while allowing for an efficient approach to the construction work.

Q: How can I find out more information about the project?

This website will be updated regularly with project information including construction notices, schedule information, project contact information and regular updates. There will also be a project information board installed on the site.

Q: Who can I contact if I have a question or concern during the construction?

Please contact us by email at construction@fortythorndike.com or by phone at (617) 866-8971 with questions or concerns. We will make every effort to return your call or email within one business day.

Q: How will noise be managed during construction?

The City of Cambridge has strict requirements regarding noise level allowed by construction activity. The project will meet or exceed these requirements. Furthermore, all reasonable efforts will be made to limit the amount of noise generated from the site and equipment will be monitored for noise level.

Q: How will dust be managed during construction?

The project will meet or exceed federal, state, and City regulatory standards concerning dust control. Techniques include water applications to the ground surfaces and materials, covering of soil and material stockpiles, and the use of street sweepers and wheel washes.  To ensure the effectiveness of these measures, ambient air testing will be employed to measure airborne particulates.

Q: How will odors be managed during construction?

The project will meet or exceed federal, state, and City of Cambridge regulatory standards concerning odor control. Most equipment being used on the project will have retrofitted emission control devices installed on engines to reduce diesel emissions. In addition, every effort will be made to minimize truck idling.

Q: Will the construction result in increased rodent activity in the neighborhood?

The project has a comprehensive rodent control and monitoring program in accordance with City regulations. Strict waste management protocols ensure rodent food sources will be minimized.

Q: Will the construction work impact vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the surrounding areas?

Traffic management plans will be developed and implemented during any construction activity that may impact the surrounding public ways. This will involve the use of signage, barriers, and pedestrian and vehicle detours. All modified traffic conditions will meet ADA accessibility standards and police details will be used when necessary to ensure public safety. Applicable permits and approvals will be obtained and the community will be notified prior to making any modifications to parking, streets, or sidewalks.

Q: Does the site contain any contamination or hazardous materials?

Because the existing building was constructed in the 1970s, there is prevalence of asbestos-containing building materials that must be remediated. The project team includes highly experienced environmental remediation experts. The project benefits from continual communication and collaboration with Cambridge Fire Department, Cambridge Public Health, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The building is secure and poses no public health threat. 

Q: Will resident street parking be affected?

The project is committed to minimizing any and all impacts to residents. For the duration of construction, the project will work hand in hand with the Department of Public Works on construction staging, which might include impacts to some street parking around the site. As construction staging progresses, the project will communicate regularly and pre-emptively with residents on any potential parking impacts.

Q: When work resumes, who will manage project safety and COVID-specific protocols and procedures?

The project’s general contractor, John Moriarty and Associates (JMA), will be responsible for the health and safety guidelines for the project and all of the trade workers. JMA has developed a robust safety program that includes current best practices in conformance with OSHA, State and Local guidelines. Those guidelines include:

  • Regular safety meetings.
  • Pre-work health screenings.
  • Limiting the numbers of workers in a single area.
  • Requiring delivery drivers to stay in their vehicles.
  • Self-quarantine provisions and documentation required to resume work.
  • Daily workplace cleaning and equipment sanitizing.
  • Increased hand washing and restrooms facilities.
  • Use of personal protection equipment where and when warranted, or required

In addition to these examples, the safety program will continue to adapt to the latest regulatory requirements and industry practice.

Q: Does the presence of construction trade workers in the neighborhood present a COVID-19 health concern for residents?

We do not believe that the presence of workers will present a health and safety concerns for residents. All project workers will be subject daily health screening and prescriptive hygiene protocols.  Workers will be subject to the City of Cambridge face mask requirement and will wear a mask both on and off the project site.

Do you have a construction related questions? Please email:
construction@fortythorndike.com