Massachusetts Turnpike - Boston Ramps Study
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is conducting the Massachusetts Turnpike - Boston Ramps Study. The Back Bay, Longwood Medical Area, Fenway, and Seaport District neighborhoods are important economic engines within the city of Boston. Growth in these neighborhoods added to the traffic generated by the existing educational, medical, and cultural institutions; the convention center; and area residents, could lead to overwhelming congestion on the city roadway system such as Massachusetts Avenue and Huntington Avenue, and area parkways such as Storrow Drive and Memorial Drive. The Massachusetts Turnpike travels through or very near these neighborhoods, but only provides limited access ramps in Back Bay (eastbound-off and westbound-on) and full access ramps in the Seaport District (all directions).
The purpose of the project is to conduct a study that will investigate the potential for new or revised access to/ from the regional express highway network using the Massachusetts Turnpike along the segment between Commonwealth Avenue in Allston and Interstate 93 in Chinatown. New connections to the Massachusetts Turnpike would also allow for potential new transit bus routes between these neighborhoods as well as better access to Logan Airport. A full range of ramp alternatives will be developed and analyzed as the study progresses. A recommended plan of future transportation improvements (short-term and long-term), based on the alternatives analysis, will be the end product of this project.
The study foundations (goals, objectives, evaluation criteria, and study area), existing conditions analysis, and alternative screening have all been completed. Relevant materials are posted in the Study Links section above.
MassDOT developed seven ramp alternatives for initial screening (See the Presentation from the June 2011 SAG Meeting for more info). With input from the Study Advisory Group at the June meeting, the following four alternatives were selected for additional analysis and design.
- Alternative 1: Construction of a new I-90 westbound off-ramp to Berkeley Street with closure of the existing I-90 westbound on-ramp from Arlington Street.
- Alternative 2: Construction of a new I-90 westbound off-ramp to Trinity Place with closure of the existing I-90 westbound on-ramps from Clarendon Street and Arlington Street.
- Alternative 3: Construction of a new I-90 westbound off-ramp to Brookline Avenue.
- Alternative 4: Construction of a new I-90 eastbound on-ramp from the Bowker Overpass northbound.
The additional analysis will include developing more advanced conceptual-level designs and the associated cost and timeline estimates for each alternative. The Central Transportation Planning Staff will also be using the Eastern Massachusetts Travel Demand Model to estimate the future roadway operations for the no build (all planned projects constructed) and build scenarios (all planned projects plus ramp alternatives). Once this is complete each alternative will be evaluated using the criteria outlined in the study foundations. The full analysis of the four alternatives is expected to be complete by the Spring of 2012, at which point the next Study Advisory Group meeting will be scheduled.