MassDOT chief meets with Casey critics

June 21, 2013
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State Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary Richard Davey met with Bridging Forest Hills (BFH) members Jeffrey Ferris and Kevin Moloney to listen to their advocating for a bridge replacement for the Casey Overpass last month. Davey maintained that the decision for a surface street network is final, according to a spokesperson.

Joined by MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola, Davey met with Ferris and Moloney on May 30 for an hour at MassDOT’s Boston building on Park Plaza.

“The meeting was an opportunity to discuss their concerns. The Secretary listened to their opinions on the project, as he has in the past, and explained why MassDOT is moving forward with the design the agency has decided on with members of the community,” MassDOT spokesperson Michael Verseckes told the Gazette this week.

Ferris and Moloney said they asked Davey and DePaola about former City liaison John Romano’s statement at a Working Advisory Group (WAG) meeting in 2011 that finding the best solution was the primary concern in the project and that funding would not affect the decision.

According to Moloney, Davey said that Romano had no authorization to make that statement.

Ferris and Moloney also asked about the transportation benefits of the surface street network replacement plan. According to Ferris, Davey said cyclists wouldn’t have to bike under an overpass under the chosen street-network plan.

They also asked Davey and DePaola about MassDOT documents that suggest a bias against a replacement bridge. As the Gazette previously reported, internal documents showed that MassDOT was focusing on developing surface street network plans, with a bridge option as a back-up plan. According to Moloney and Ferris, Davey denied a bias in the MassDOT process.

The Casey Overpass is the State Route 203 bridge over Washington Street and Hyde Park Avenue at the Forest Hills T Station. The aging bridge must be demolished. The process has been fraught with controversy since it was first announced in late 2010.