MEPA Casey decision to come Jan. 18

January 11, 2013
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The state Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office review of the Casey Arborway project’s environmental impacts is expected to be released Fri., Jan. 18.

The MEPA review will decide whether the project requires a more in-depth analysis called an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or whether it can move into the final design stage.

MEPA likely will have the review certificate posted online by Tues., Jan. 22 at its website, mass.gov/eea/agencies/mepa, according to MEPA analyst Holly Johnson.

Supporters of the state’s plan to replace the Casey Overpass with an at-grade street network would prefer that an EIR is not issued, keeping the project moving. Supporters of restarting the project in favor of a replacement bridge would prefer that an EIR is issued, which likely would delay the Casey Arborway project beyond its funding deadline.

If the project does not require further MEPA review, a state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) public hearing will update the community on the current state of the design, likely in the first week of February.

MEPA review was triggered because the project would cut down nine trees of 14 or more inches in diameter at chest height, as well as more than 80 smaller trees. A total of 190 new trees would replace them.

The Casey Overpass is the State Route 203 bridge over Washington Street at the Forest Hills T Station. It must be replaced due to its crumbling condition.

The state Casey project website is massdot.state.ma.us/caseyoverpass.