Mayor: I would have kept Casey Overpass

Calling the Casey Arborway project a “second Big Dig,” Mayor Thomas Menino told the Gazette he would have preferred to see the existing overpass remain there.

Menino said sometimes people have to think outside the box and his vision would have the overpass being rebuilt with green space underneath it. That would connect Arnold Arboretum to the Franklin Park, creating one continuous line of green space, he said.

“Be a little creative,” said Menino. “Does it cost more money? Yes. But look what you are doing environmentally.”

The Casey Overpass in Forest Hills is slated to be torn down and replaced by a seven-lane surface road. The project is run by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

“I think you better be prepared for the second Big Dig,” said Menino when asked by the Gazette about the Casey Arborway project during a sit-down lunch today with city reporters.

The “Big Dig” was the unofficial name of the downtown highway reconstruction project that caused traffic headaches for years.

The mayor noted that vehicles will need to be rerouted through neighborhood streets while the overpass is torn down and the streets are realigned for the surface road. He said that unless the project is well managed, there will be some issues.

Although a new bridge would be Menino’s preference, he noted the state has authority over the project.

“I don’t run it,” he said.

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