Letter: Bridge option is outdated

I have been reading the recent letters in this paper about the Casey Overpass replacement project, and I’d like to put in a word in favor of replacing the bridge with an at-grade road network.

I live adjacent to the overpass and use the intersections around it daily. The roads running under the overpass are difficult to navigate for pedestrians, cyclists and cars. Why? Because they were designed to run around a streetcar and another bridge to hold the elevated Orange Line. When they were removed, they left a mess. Replacing the overpass with an at-grade solution wouldn’t just fix the problem of the crumbling existing bridge; it would also allow for a reworking of the whole intersection to fix other traffic problems in the area.

Taking down the bridge and replacing it with an at-grade solution would clear up a lot of traffic in the area, although there isn’t that much traffic there, not compared to other points in the city. Additionally, a bridge would cost less money to build and maintain, meaning other damaged bridges in the state could be repaired or replaced.

The at-grade solution is the best for traffic flow, and it removes a visual barrier that separates Forest Hills from the rest of JP. It’s more cost-effective. It fits in with Frederick Law Olmsted’s original Emerald Necklace vision. It will allow more foot and vehicle traffic for the local businesses.

The only thing I hear from bridge proponents is versions of, “It’s always been a bridge, so I only want a bridge.” Let’s be open to change and innovation in our community.

Kate Hutchinson, Jamaica Plain


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