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Menino on Casey Arborway Project: "You Better Be Prepared for the Second Big Dig"

Mayor Thomas Menino came out publicly against the "at-grade" plan for reconfiguration of the Casey Overpass area. He would have preferred a smaller bridge with a greenway beneath it.

 

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino isn't happy with the state's plan to tear down the Casey Overpass and replace it with a network of ground-level streets.

Instead, he said he'd like to have seen a rebuilt, smaller Casey bridge with a greenway beneath it connecting the Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park.

"Be a little creative," said Menino, who has been mayor for 19 years. "Sometimes you've got to think outside the box."

Asked how a big project like this could go against his wishes in his own city, he pointed to state authorities.

"It's their project, not my project," Menino said during a lunch meeting with reporters from local community news outlets.

He said a project like that might cost a little more than the approach chosen by the State Department of Transportation, but that it would be worth it.

Further, he warned Forest Hills residents to brace for serious disruption of their lives during construction.

"You better be prepared for the second Big Dig," said Menino, referencing the epic project that tore down the Central Artery and put it underground.

In other comments about Forest Hills, the mayor said Forest Hills MBTA station should be turned around so that it opens onto the business district. The closed-off way the station is designed sends people right from the subway onto their buses without encouraging stopping into any local restaurants or shops.

Stephen Smith May 25, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Nobody disagrees that the Casey Overpass has to go. I hope I'm wrong but in the process of it coming down I think it will be a traffic nightmare
David Ertischek (Editor) May 25, 2012 at 03:08 PM
It needs to come down. Luckily, I moved from the Forest Hills area last year. Projects like this usually take a couple of years. I hope it makes the area look better when it's all said and done. I was down at the North End the other day and the Greenway is very nice.
Mary Mulvey Jacobson May 25, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I think it is hair brained to get rid of the overpass. All that traffic from Dorchester and points south that need to go through JP to get to their final designations will now further clog up the area. It will be a total nightmare getting through Forest Hills. The traffic will go into the neighborhoods to avoid the proposed 6 or 7 lane at-grade roadway or they will bypass JP all together, which would be a detriment to our businesses in the area. It is already difficult to get through Forest Hills now; why would anyone think adding all those lanes of traffic would help? I wonder how this will negatively impact West Roxbury Court in the conduct of their daily business. There will be major construction of mixed uses in Forest Hills in the old MBTA lot. How is this going to work?
AJ October 23, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I agree with Menino to make a smaller bridge. I like the idea of opening up that area as well and make it more inviting. More lighting in the parking lots is also needed, as it can be really dark at night. That whole area needs to be revamped.

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