Letter: Surface option is good, fast and cheap

February 3, 2012
By

I have attended all of the public meetings for the Casey Overpass Project. I believe both options that have been presented are a vast improvement over what is currently in place and that both designs will be able to accommodate all modes and capacities of traffic, per the information provided at these meetings.

If I were to choose between either an at-grade design or a bridge design, I would quickly choose the at-grade option. The reason I feel this way is based on a basic project management principal known as the “Project Management Triangle”: “Good, fast or cheap. Pick two.” Normally, if a project satisfies two of the three options (good, fast, or cheap), then the project is considered a success. If we are to compare the at-grade solution versus the bridge solution utilizing the Project Management Triangle, then our choice is obvious. The at-grade solution will be good, and it will be faster and cheaper than a bridge solution.

Cost estimates presented at the most recent public meeting for the Casey Overpass project stated that the at-grade solution would be at least $20 million cheaper than the bridge solution. Not having to build a new bridge would mean that an at-grade project would end months, if not years, sooner than a bridge solution would end. The Casey Overpass project team has stated repeatedly that the at-grade solution will accommodate the same volumes and modes of traffic as would the bridge solution, so it must be good.

As one who commutes via bus, train, bike and by car on occasion, I believe the benefits provided by the at-grade solution are greater than those provided by the bridge option. I look forward to utilizing the new headhouse for the Forest Hills MBTA Station and the new cycle tracks along Washington Street, and to no longer contend with double-parked taxis and automobiles when traveling on Washington. These are important benefits provided only with the at-grade solution. It would be a shame to not see these improvements to the neighborhood.

In summation, the bridge option would be good, but would neither be fast nor cheap, when compared to the at-grade solution. The at-grade solution allows us to attain all three options of the Project Management Triangle, which is nearly unheard of, when compared to the bridge option. Spending an additional $20 million for a bridge solution does not make good economic sense, especially considering our current fiscal environment.

I urge you to consider basic Project Management theory in your decision regarding the Casey Overpass project and to support the at-grade solution.

Todd Consentino, Roslindale

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  • Joel Sindelar

    The key sentence: “The Casey Overpass project team has stated repeatedly that the at-grade solution will accommodate the same volumes and modes of traffic as would the bridge solution, so it must be good.”

    - because they have said it repeatedly, it must be good?

    The objections to the at-grade option seem to stem from DOT saying that so repeatedly- the DOT was pushing the at-grade option pretty hard from the beginning, almost as if the decision had already been made. Apparently, exactly because it is cheap and quick. I’d prefer the solution that works the best in the long run. I don’t necessarily think that either choice, as presented, is the best one.