Mayor: I would have kept Casey Overpass

May 25, 2012
By

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.

  • Tobias

    what a complete buffoon!  the city was conspicuously absent during the public dialogue!  why speak out now?  and then when he does speak, he has no idea what he is talking about and can only stoke fears of traffic snarls!  give me a break..  menino has never hesitated in influencing state run projects before, that’s for certain…  get this guy out of office, someone please!! let’s please get some leadership in office with a vision.

  • Eiselic

    Sometimes the mayor really lacks vision. While the Big Dig created a significant amount of mess and traffic snarls, there is no doubt that the city will be forever better for its construction. That area of the city where the central artery once was has been forever improved, and infinitely so. And its not like the traffic on these traffic corridors, from JP to West Roxbury Parkway, and from Neponset Circle to Storrow Drive are going to be much worse than they are now. The end result will be worth it; Forest Hills can reconnect with JP, and the sense of place will be immensely improved from how it is now.  The mayor is wrong, you cannot have a much of a green space under an overpass. I think he is jumping on the bandwagon of a rather vocal group of complainers, and he should have come to some of the meetings and weighed in earlier.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1062314195 Rick Bernier

    I wish he would have spoken up sooner.!

  • boop

    The only two places in the city I’ve been mugged: under the old central artery and under the casey..  I’d like to see menino walk around there by himself at night and then tell us that the bridge is the better option.

    • Larry Cronin

       Beats getting splattered when you try to cross the Hydra