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.

5 comments for “Mayor: I would have kept Casey Overpass

  1. Laura B.
    May 30, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Six lanes, seven lanes- what’s the difference? Name another roadway in Boston that has that many lanes besides the highways. I REALLY don’t understand why bike riders are in favor of this proposal- the road is going to be monstrous and likely dangerous. As someone who lives in the Bourne area, I’m totally opposed to the at grade solution. True, there will be sun and an expanded view- but I’m just not that into looking at the Arborway yard!

  2. May 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I’m a little confused as to why the Mayor thinks that this will be a second Big Dig. We’re not burying the overpass, building any tunnels, or impacting major in/out flows of traffic that affect the entire city of boston. This will be a small project in comparison, done in stages by a highly qualified team of planners, engineers, landscape architects, and construction professionals. 

  3. JP Resident Biker
    May 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Dear Mayor, 
    It takes sun to grow plants. I don’t see how we could have green space and a bridge.

  4. David Curtis1
    May 24, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I thought the  project was six lanes. DOT says six lanes. Some “players” on the WAG/DAG  started up saying that there were seven lanes, but meeting records show these same folks were at meetings where six lanes were established. But, like George Bush, these”players” think that repeating an untruth often enough makes a reality more to their liking.  And it looks like some of them must have got on the Mayor’s ear and fed him their misinformation. I don’t think one does the Mayor any good by mis-informing him.

  5. Pete Stidman
    May 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks for this story. It’s difficult to tell what the mayor is really proposing here. The at-grade solution does include a green connection all the way from Franklin Park to the Arborway, and one that has sunshine (instead of shadow) to boot. I look forward to discussing it further. 

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