Governor Deval Patrick announced some very big changes to the Mass Pike. The Tuesday announcement touched on several transportation projects, including the Pike, MBTA and the Clayton Street Bridge in Dorchester.
First, the state will implement open tolling to the Pike, which means no-stopping, no-slowing toll collection along the road. If you've ever taken I-95 into New Hampshire, you've seen open tolling in action. The system is designed to reduce congestion at toll plazas, according to a statement released by the governor's office. The Tobin Bridge was already slated to get open tolling in early 2014. The system will be tested on the Tobin first and then rolled out to the Pike, according to the release.
Patrick also announced a road straightening project for the Allston/Brighton stretch of the highway. The straightening project should reduce congestion and free up 60 acres of land the state can then sell or develop, according to the press release.
"MassDOT’s Highway Division will coordinate this multi-phase project with federal, state and city representatives and conduct public outreach with business, educational and other area institutions in the area," wrote the governor's staff in the release. "The current schedule calls for construction to begin in fall 2016 with completion in 2020. The preliminary estimated cost of the project is $260 million."