FOREST HILLS– The massive state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) project to demolish the Casey Overpass and replace it with an at-grade street network will be going out to bid tomorrow, April 12, following Massachusetts Historic Commission (MHC) review of the plan to turn Shea Circle into a signalized intersection called Shea Square.
A draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between the two state agencies on April 9. In a letter that accompanies it, MassDOT Historic Resources Supervisor Stephen Roper states that the bidding process takes approximately 120 days to complete. That means that the earliest that site preparation could begin is mid-August.
That letter states that closure of the Casey Overpass is expected by the end of the year.
Roper also states that no site preparation or construction work will begin before the full execution of the MOA and that mitigation measures included in the draft MOA will be incorporated into contract documents.
The MOA includes specifications for panels to be incorporated into a nearby sitting area that will show way-finding and historical information about the area, labels for plantings in the area, and the possibility of salvaging the wood from the oak trees that will be cut down as part of the project.
The option to create Shea Square was originally created to reduce the high rate of vehicle crashes on the rotary. MassDOT has said the Shea Circle redesign is not a necessary part of the overall project, which is replacing the Casey Overpass over the Forest Hills T Station area with surface streets. But the circle redesign review delayed the entire project for months.
The Casey plan has been controversial, with many organized local supporters and detractors. Information on the project, including past presentations to the community, can be found at massdot.state.ma.us/caseyarborway.