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Author Topic: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal  (Read 5247 times)

southshore720

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Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« on: November 14, 2017, 11:34:19 AM »

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/11/13/mass-pike-project-allston-cost-billion-more/Ih2REEfvVX2Cg633AQSXvN/story.html

Pay-wall article, so I will summarize:
What does everyone think about the three current options to improve the Mass Pike's Allston Interchange (Exits 18 & 20)?

Among the options under review:

■ Replace the viaduct with a section of elevated highway and shift Soldiers Field Road inland from the Charles River, at a cost of $1 billion. This approach would have the added benefit of opening more parkland along the Charles.

■ Remove the viaduct and rebuild the turnpike at ground level, while putting one set of commuter rail tracks on an elevated platform above the highway, for $1.2 billion.

■ Create a solid block of rail and roadway at ground level, for $983 million.
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froggie

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 01:08:58 PM »

Here's the MassDOT project website, and following is the most recent project fact sheet, dated this past spring, which includes the most recent concept.  It's the viaduct area in near the bottom right of the PDF (if you rotate the PDF counterclockwise so that north is "up") where the three "options under review" are mentioned.

Meanwhile, here's an interesting concept that a Boston resident had come up with back in 2014.  This one would relocate Soldiers Field Rd away from the river and briefly onto I-90.
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SectorZ

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 02:11:46 PM »

A quick workaround in Firefox for the Globe's website, if you load (or reload) then hit pause/X quickly, it won't load the paywall block. Don't know if this works in other browsers and/or is common for paywalled sites, but being a Boston suburbanite I've done this for a while with their site.
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vdeane

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 09:18:19 PM »

I just set Chrome to block JavaScript on their site so I can use incognito.  This also kills their navigation system, but since I only go there through following links from elsewhere, I don't care.
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Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

DJStephens

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 01:04:19 PM »

Any updates on this?  i.e. ROD (record of decision)?   Used to drive through this area in 70's through the early 90's.  Viaduct was showing age, even then.  Mainly road salt and deicing chemical attacks on deck concrete and underlying girders.   Believe this structure was originally built in '64-'65 timeframe, as part of the Mass Turnpike extension into Boston proper.   Interesting that pretty much all of the other proposed freeways/expressways as of 1970 were cancelled with the exception of the double decker I-93 bridge connecting to the pre-existing Central artery in 1973. The turnpike extension also followed the pre-existing rail road tracks most the way into the city, which likely made property acquisition easier, than say a Commonwealth Avenue route.   The rail tracks used to be four tracks wide, west of this Allston/Brighton viaduct, two were surrendered to the turnpike authority for ROW.   Air space over the extension was used fairly early in it's lifespan, a supermarket over the turnpike in Newtonville and a shopping center/hotel in Newton Corner.   
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SectorZ

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2018, 06:42:57 PM »

Any updates on this?  i.e. ROD (record of decision)?   Used to drive through this area in 70's through the early 90's.  Viaduct was showing age, even then.  Mainly road salt and deicing chemical attacks on deck concrete and underlying girders.   Believe this structure was originally built in '64-'65 timeframe, as part of the Mass Turnpike extension into Boston proper.   Interesting that pretty much all of the other proposed freeways/expressways as of 1970 were cancelled with the exception of the double decker I-93 bridge connecting to the pre-existing Central artery in 1973. The turnpike extension also followed the pre-existing rail road tracks most the way into the city, which likely made property acquisition easier, than say a Commonwealth Avenue route.   The rail tracks used to be four tracks wide, west of this Allston/Brighton viaduct, two were surrendered to the turnpike authority for ROW.   Air space over the extension was used fairly early in it's lifespan, a supermarket over the turnpike in Newtonville and a shopping center/hotel in Newton Corner.

I couldn't find any new news nor have heard anything locally thus far. You were correct on the age of the viaduct and the air space over the Pike Extension in Newton is still there.
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roadman

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2018, 10:12:32 PM »

  Interesting that pretty much all of the other proposed freeways/expressways as of 1970 were cancelled with the exception of the double decker I-93 bridge connecting to the pre-existing Central artery in 1973.   
I've mentioned this before in other threads, but it bears repeating here.  Construction of what are now the I-93 upper and lower decks was begun in late 1969, and was completed by mid-1971.  This roadway was intended to be part of the I-695 Inner Belt, but the section that was built was principally intended to serve as a direct connection between I-93 and the Central Artery.  The reason this road wasn't opened at the time it was completed was not so much because of Governor's Sargent's 1970 moratorium on highway construction, but had more to do with concerns about traffic issues due to both the short weave section over the Charles River and a proposed direct connection ramp from Rutherford Avenue to the upper deck, and a similar ramp from the lower deck to Rutherford Avenue.  These two ramps were never built.

The event that finally prompted MassDPW to open the upper and lower decks to traffic was the sudden closure of the Tobin Bridge due to a gravel hauler that hit one of the support bents - see https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10395.msg246301#msg246301  for more details.  However, the upper and lower decks (which never sported I-695 signs or shields) did not officially get the I-93 designation until late 1974, and weren't signed as such until mid-1975.

An early episode of the show Banacek titled Project Phoenix, which was filmed in early 1972, has some nice aerial shots of the I-695/future I-93 upper and lower decks, completed (minus the aforementioned Rutherford Avenue access ramps) and ready to accept traffic.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 11:04:09 PM by roadman »
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bob7374

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2018, 10:18:15 AM »

Any updates on this?  i.e. ROD (record of decision)?   Used to drive through this area in 70's through the early 90's.  Viaduct was showing age, even then.  Mainly road salt and deicing chemical attacks on deck concrete and underlying girders.   Believe this structure was originally built in '64-'65 timeframe, as part of the Mass Turnpike extension into Boston proper.   Interesting that pretty much all of the other proposed freeways/expressways as of 1970 were cancelled with the exception of the double decker I-93 bridge connecting to the pre-existing Central artery in 1973. The turnpike extension also followed the pre-existing rail road tracks most the way into the city, which likely made property acquisition easier, than say a Commonwealth Avenue route.   The rail tracks used to be four tracks wide, west of this Allston/Brighton viaduct, two were surrendered to the turnpike authority for ROW.   Air space over the extension was used fairly early in it's lifespan, a supermarket over the turnpike in Newtonville and a shopping center/hotel in Newton Corner.   
As it turns out, MassDOT posted an update yesterday (6/30) about the project:
http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/massdot-highway/massdot-i-90-allston-intermodal-project-update/

The major issues are whether the replacement should be another viaduct, or should at least some part be at ground level. Also there's been criticism of the MassDOT decision to put off building the proposed train station that would be part of the project.

DJStephens

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2018, 10:22:42 AM »

If memory is correct, believe that viaduct was to span part of a large rail yard.  Meaning there were active rail operations under part of it.   Has that rail yard been pruned back, allowing elimination of said viaduct?   
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shadyjay

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2018, 12:36:55 PM »

Rail yard was just south of the 'pike at Int. 18-20... that's why there was a curve to the roadway.  It was sold IIRC to Harvard.
 https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3558132,-71.1228407,1005m/data=!3m1!1e3

With the rail yard gone, I-90 could be straightened and rebuilt as seen fit.
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bob7374

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2021, 12:24:44 PM »

Allston Viaduct back in the news. MassDOT announces plan to accelerate rehab work:
http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/massdot-highway/massdot-accelerating-phase-i-repairs-to-allston-i-90-viaduct-in-boston/
« Last Edit: May 20, 2021, 11:11:31 AM by bob7374 »
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PHLBOS

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Re: Mass Pike / Allston Interchange Proposal
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2021, 10:45:30 AM »

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