BOSTON – Friday, January 17, 2014 – Today, MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey was joined by Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Representative Aaron Michlewitz, City Council President Bill Linehan, and residents from the South End and South Boston, to officially turn on the new lights under the I-93 viaduct in the South End.
The areas were formerly used for storage of equipment and materials related to highway and tunnel maintenance. Neighbors on both sides of I-93 expressed interest in reuse of the site. MassDOT formed a community advisory group and partnered with NSTAR and the developer of a nearby parcel on Albany Street to create a plan to convert the area into parking that will be staffed 24-hours a day, provide improved lighting, and create an active and safe environment between the South End and South Boston neighborhoods.
“This is the kind of project that you would only see because of the strong partnerships formed with both neighborhoods, the city of Boston, elected officials, NSTAR, the MassDOT team, and the private development community,” said Secretary Davey. “By bringing all of these groups together, we were able to address the problem and develop an innovative solution that enhances safety for pedestrians, creates a new and active use for this land, and strengthens the connection between these two neighborhoods.”
Built at an upfront cost of $2.5 million, MassDOT will recover the cost through revenue generated by the new parking lots. The lots are expected to be active this spring. A third lot between Herald and Traveler streets is slated to be developed as a Phase 2 to the project that will also include additional green spaces, connections to the Harborwalk, as well as additional parking.
“Working with our partners during the course of the development of this project really challenged everyone involved to think creatively and work collaboratively to eliminate the blight and create a new use that satisfies an existing need for additional parking,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “Additionally, the new lighting installations will go a long way to creating an environment that no longer discourages walking and cycling, but encourages it.”
In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work. For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/, or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.