Improvement Project Would Reshape Allston Interchange on Massachusetts Turnpike - NECN


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Improvement Project Would Reshape Allston Interchange on Massachusetts Turnpike



    Mass. Has Plans to Drastically Alter Turnpike in Allston

    A stretch of highway in Boston’s Allston neighborhood will soon be the center of a $1 billion project that will affect hundreds of thousands of drivers on the Turnpike. State leaders are calling this a generational opportunity, but there are still many unknowns like the final design and ways to fund the project.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017)

    Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials are hoping to ease gridlock on a part of the Mass Turnpike with another major construction project.

    MassDOT and the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board are looking to rebuild parts of the Allston Interchange with new roads and another commuter rail station.

    The project would dramatically reshape the turnpike in the Allston area.

    MassDot said the stretch of the turnpike, called the Allston Viaduct, is structurally deficient saying it shows signs of deterioration. Officials said each year, it costs about $800,000 in maintenance.

    "The viaduct is structurally deficient and showing signs of deterioration and on a yearly basis, MassDOT spends on average $800,000 to maintain the viaduct.  The time has come to move this project forward through the design phase so it can be rebuilt," said MassDot Chief Highway Engineer Patricia Leavenworth.

    The proposal would raise a portion of the turnpike between Boston University and the Charles River. It would also straighten the road where it loops through abandoned rail yards.

    Officials also want to add another commuter rail station and remove some of the twisting ramps and access roads. Among other changes would be new streets, bike and walking paths and possibly more parkland along the Charles River.

    Part of the plan, which would be expected to begin in 2020, is estimated to cost $1.2 billion dollars.

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