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South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan

At the heart of the City of Boston, the South Boston Waterfront is home to an active, growing industrial port; first class convention, cultural and recreational resources that attract visitors from throughout the nation and around the world; and, an emerging center for innovation in the finance, legal, biomedical research, and technology sectors. However, the accelerated pace of growth in the Waterfront in recent years with increased tourism, commercial traffic, and residential populations has led to congestion and mobility challenges. The South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan is both a strategic plan – providing a blueprint for the transportation system improvements over a 20 year planning horizon – and an action plan defining more immediate/short-term strategies to address existing transportation and mobility issues, capacity constraints, transit, pedestrian and bicycle needs, and operational enhancements. The completion of the plan with its articulated goals, objectives, and recommendations, marks the first step towards fulfilling the long-term vision for the South Boston Waterfront. For more information, please view the Executive Summary or the Full Report.

Grounding McGrath:
Determining the Future of the Route 28 Corridor

Completed in December 2013, the purpose of this conceptual planning study was to examine and evaluate the feasibility, benefits, impacts, and costs of removing the McCarthy Overpass viaduct on Route 28 in Somerville and replacing it with an at-grade roadway network and intersections.  In coordination with a study Working Group - a plan of short, medium and long-term improvement alternatives was recommended.  The primary long-term recommendation was to reconstruct the McCarthy Overpass as a 6-lane Boulevard concept, while acknowledging that there was also strong public support for a 4-lane concept.  Based on the public comments received, a 4-lane concept in addition to a 6-lane Boulevard concept, as well as a No-Build condition has been moved forward into project development.  This will allow further examination of the benefits and impacts,as well as additional opportunities for public involvement prior to any environmental permitting submission. Please visit the project website for more information on this ongoing effort.

Green Line Extension

This important project will extend existing MBTA Green Line service from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford. This project will greatly improve public transit service in some of the most densely-populated municipalities of the Commonwealth. Among its many benefits, the Green Line Extension project will:

  • Provide new and better opportunities for residents and visitors to travel within their communities and within the region, address longstanding transportation inequities.
  • Result in fewer automobiles on local roads and help combat greenhouse gas emissions and other components of air pollution.
  • Support municipal plans for sustainable growth and development.
  • Provide residents of environmental justice communities with faster rides to work and other destinations.

MassDOT and the MBTA are committed to comprehensive and inclusive civic engagement as part of this project. Please visit the Green Line Extension website for more information.

Route 110 and 113 Methuen Rotary Study

Completed in April of 2008, the purpose of this conceptual planning study was to evaluate and address transportation issues at the Route 110/113 Rotary Interchange at I-93 in the City of Methuen and surrounding region. The study also examined transportation issues related to industrial development along Route 113 in Dracut, as the associated traffic uses the rotary to access the regional interstate system.  In coordination with the Study Advisory Committee, a plan of short and long-term improvement alternatives was recommended.  Included in this plan were two potential long-term alternatives that would reconstruct the Exit 46 interchange to provide improved mobility and safety.In July of 2008, MassDOT’s Highway Division initiated the project development process in order to identify and move forward with a preferred alternative.  For more information on the current status, please visit the I-93/Route 110/Route 113 Interchange project website for more information.

I-95 South Corridor Study

The addition of a lane along I-95/Route 128 through Dedham and Westwood combined with plans for an improved I-95/I-93 interchange in Canton, have the potential to change travel patterns and encourage further growth in the communities along I-95 south of Route 128.  The Department of Transportation commissioned the I-95 South Corridor Transportation Study to undertake a broad, comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the long-term impact that potential growth would have on the region’s transportation infrastructure. The study provided a comprehensive evaluation of the I-95 and Route 1 corridors south of Route 128 that included a recommended plan of short-term and long-term improvements based on the alternatives analysis and the collective input of many stakeholders. For more information, go to the I-95 South project website.

Urban Ring

The Urban Ring is a proposed circumferential bus rapid transit corridor that would connect all existing MBTA rapid transit and commuter rail lines and serve 7 municipalities, including Boston. The proposal has evolved over several decades, culminating with the filing of the Revised Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement with MEPA in 2008. Due to the financial constraints being faced by both the Commonwealth (for funding capital expansions) and the MBTA (for operating new services), MassDOT suspended further environmental review on the Urban Ring in January 2010. Since that time, MassDOT has continued to work with corridor municipalities and the Citizens Advisory Committee on right of way preservation issues, and to pursue "early actions" that help advance the goal of improved circumferential service in the Urban Ring corridor. For more information, go to the Urban Ring project website

I-495 Corridor Transportation Study

In 2008, the I-495 Corridor Transportation Study was completed by MassDOT Planning. The study evaluated transportation issues in the I-495 corridor through the Merrimack Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization and Northern Middlesex Metropolitan Planning Organization regions. Specifically, the study area extended from Exit 32 (Boston Road in Westford) at the southern end, to the I-495/I-95 interchange in Salisbury at the northern end. 

A full range of alternatives, including interchange, highway, non-highway, and multimodal option improvements, was developed and analyzed as part of the study process. A recommended plan of near, mid, and long-term transportation improvements based on the alternatives analysis, is included in the final report.

For additional information, please contact:
Bob Frey, Director of Project-Oriented Planning

I-93/I-95 Interchange Transportation Study

Between 2004 and 2007, MassDOT Planning worked closely with an advisory task force during a study of the I-93/I-95 Interchange in the Towns of Reading, Stoneham, and the City of Woburn. This interchange (Exit 37) is the busiest in the state, processing over 375,000 vehicles on an average weekday.  The primary goals of this planning study were to examine and recommend ways to improve traffic flow and safety at the interchange while minimizing impacts in surrounding communities.  A full range of alternatives, including interchange improvements and non-highway options, was developed and analyzed.  A recommended plan of future, multi-modal transportation improvements (short-term and long-term), based on the alternatives analysis and community input, has been outlined in the June 2007 final report for this study.The recommendations from the planning study have laid the groundwork for the I-93/I-95 Interchange Transportation Improvements Project, which has begun work on the necessary environmental studies and documentation in order to prioritize the project within the metropolitan planning process, secure additional funding, and ultimately move forward with implementation.  Further details, including the final report for the planning study, can be found at the I-93/I-95 Interchange project website.

Route 146 Transportation Study

This study evaluated transportation issues in the Route 146 corridor through the Towns of Millbury and Sutton. The study followed Planning's standard five-step process: foundations (goals, evaluation criteria, definition of study area, public participation process); existing conditions and issues evaluation; alternatives development; alternative analysis; and recommendations. Recommendations included plans to upgrade the Route 146 corridor to a limited access freeway with frontage roads serving the adjacent land uses. There were also recommendations to upgrade the existing interchange at Route 146/Elm Street and the Boston Road intersection leading to Route 146. Here is a map of the Route 146 study area with major recommendations, or you can view the report. The Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) is leading a "vision plan" for Route 146 to follow up on the long-term recommendations of this study.

Connecticut River Crossing Transportation Study

When MassDOT began reconstructing the Route 9 Calvin Coolidge Bridge over the Connecticut River between Northampton and Hadley, there was local and regional interest in exploring the potential for an additional bridge crossing to address traffic congestion and improve regional mobility. Planning managed a consultant feasibility study that identified existing traffic issues, examined a wide range of alternatives, and ultimately developed a plan of recommended improvements. These improvements include various intersection changes, increased transit service, and reconfiguration of an interchange (a new bridge was not recommended). The advisory group formed for the study will now work with the area towns, regional agencies, and MassHighway to move forward with the recommendations.

Route 141 Deady Bridge Study

The Route 141 Deady Memorial Bridge is one of four Chicopee River crossings in the City of Chicopee, of which two are limited access roadways (I-291 and I-391). This limited number of bridges restricts cross-river roadway capacity in the area, contributing to congestion. This congestion is worsened by the presence of two signalized intersections and the convergence and divergence of four major roadways at both ends of the Deady Bridge. Average daily traffic on the bridge exceeds 27,000 vehicles per day. The study resulted in a number of recommendations, including reconstruction of the bridge itself and improvements to surrounding intersections. These improvements, including the reconstruction of the bridge, are currently underway.

Route 85 Connector Transportation Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the Route 85 Connector (the Cellucci Highway) and Route 85 itself in the vicinity of the Connector. A large number of existing and proposed residential and commercial developments have contributed to growth in the corridor. The study followed the traditional five step planning approach: foundations (goals, evaluation criteria, definition of study area, public participation process); existing conditions analysis; alternatives development; alternative analysis; and recommendations. Planning worked with an Interagency Agency Advisory Group consisting of the City of Marlborough, the Town of Hudson, MAPC, and District 3. At the completion of the study, recommendations were proposed to address the I-495/I-290/Cellucci Highway interchange, the Cellucci Highway/Fitchburg Street intersection, and the Route 85/Cellucci Highway intersection. You can view a map of the Route 85 study area with major recommendations, or view the study report.

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