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Author Topic: Boston Map overlay site (historical, Inner Belt plans, etc.): mapjunction.com  (Read 5189 times)

kurumi

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https://alpha.mapjunction.com/?lat=42.3436004&lng=-71.1117688&clipperX=0.7296977&clipperY=0.5708245&map1=google.SATELLITE&map2=mosaic.mapwarperlayer488&zoom=14.2017655&mode=overlay&b=0.000&p=0.000

Above is a link to the 1962 Inner Belt freeway plan overlaying current aerial view of Boston, with a slider to compare. Pan and zoom work as they do in Google Maps. You can select other maps dating back to the 17th century.
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The Ghostbuster

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Interesting map layout website! I wonder if this could be done for other cities? Also, I know the MA 24 freeway was likely never proposed to extend beyond the MA 128 beltway, though if it did, I wonder where it would have intersected the Southwest Expressway? That seem likely the only logical terminus for this otherwise "fictional" extension.
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Alps

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That just proves how detrimental 695 would have been to Cambridge.

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Interesting.  If Route 3 were to stay on the Central Artery until the northern part of the loop, then follow the loop until it turns onto its own freeway, I trust at that point the entire "Route 3" could be switched to US-3

Does that also mean MA-2 would terminate all the way over where it meets US-3?
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Alps

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Interesting.  If Route 3 were to stay on the Central Artery until the northern part of the loop, then follow the loop until it turns onto its own freeway, I trust at that point the entire "Route 3" could be switched to US-3

Does that also mean MA-2 would terminate all the way over where it meets US-3?
US 3 was never going to be extended beyond Boston. It would have been decades ago if so. MA 2 would have continued in probably to the Inner Loop and terminated simultaneously with US 3. MA 3 would either have been signed around 695 back to SE Expwy. or would have been truncated to I-95 (had everything been built); my guess is the former because MA never gets rid of anything.

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That just proves how detrimental 695 would have been to Cambridge.

Wouldn't have been a picnic through the Fenway or Lower Roxbury either...
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Alps

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That just proves how detrimental 695 would have been to Cambridge.

Wouldn't have been a picnic through the Fenway or Lower Roxbury either...

Cambridge would have been destroyed. Kendall/MIT would be completely cut off from downtown and Harvard and it would all have withered on the vine. I don't get the sense that anything in its path on the Boston side was that central to the neighborhood, not that it's unpopulated by any stretch.

SectorZ

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To echo others points here, I can't believe 695 thru a lot of what it went thru was such a serious idea given how much it was going to wipe out.

If it existed today, Boston and Cambridge would be vastly different and not in any good way.

There's a lot of cancelled freeways that had BS cancellations. This was not one of them.
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kernals12

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Tip O'Neill described the inner belt best:
a China Wall dislocating 7,000 people just to save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore.

According to Bostonroads, federal requirements to provide replacement housing alone made the project infeasible.

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SectorZ

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Tip O'Neill described the inner belt best:
a China Wall dislocating 7,000 people just to save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore.

According to Bostonroads, federal requirements to provide replacement housing alone made the project infeasible.

Never knew that quote. Not that costing US taxpayers $25B to build a tunnel to "save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore" was a better idea, but hey he got his name on the boondoggle at least.
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kernals12

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Tip O'Neill described the inner belt best:
a China Wall dislocating 7,000 people just to save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore.

According to Bostonroads, federal requirements to provide replacement housing alone made the project infeasible.

Never knew that quote. Not that costing US taxpayers $25B to build a tunnel to "save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore" was a better idea, but hey he got his name on the boondoggle at least.

Most of that $25 billion was borne by the state.
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paul02474

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Tip O'Neill described the inner belt best:
a China Wall dislocating 7,000 people just to save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore.

According to Bostonroads, federal requirements to provide replacement housing alone made the project infeasible.

Never knew that quote. Not that costing US taxpayers $25B to build a tunnel to "save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore" was a better idea, but hey he got his name on the boondoggle at least.

Tip O'Neill was correct about the Inner Belt, which would have bulldozed through his neighborhood. The Central Artery Tunnel project had an opposite effect. The project achieved the following outcomes:
A new tunnel connecting the Massachusetts Turnpike to East Boston and Logan Airport
An obsolete and dangerous highway, from Massachusetts Avenue north into Charlestown, was replaced with a tunnel and bridge system that is safer and able to handle significantly more traffic.
The removal of the elevated structure in downtown Boston transformed the center of the city, replacing a barrier with a pleasant place to walk. The connection from Faneuil Hall to the North End is a particularly significant benefit for tourism in the city.
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SectorZ

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Tip O'Neill described the inner belt best:
a China Wall dislocating 7,000 people just to save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore.

According to Bostonroads, federal requirements to provide replacement housing alone made the project infeasible.

Never knew that quote. Not that costing US taxpayers $25B to build a tunnel to "save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore" was a better idea, but hey he got his name on the boondoggle at least.

Most of that $25 billion was borne by the state.

Most =/= all
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Alps

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Tip O'Neill described the inner belt best:
a China Wall dislocating 7,000 people just to save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore.

According to Bostonroads, federal requirements to provide replacement housing alone made the project infeasible.

Never knew that quote. Not that costing US taxpayers $25B to build a tunnel to "save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore" was a better idea, but hey he got his name on the boondoggle at least.

Tip O'Neill was correct about the Inner Belt, which would have bulldozed through his neighborhood. The Central Artery Tunnel project had an opposite effect. The project achieved the following outcomes:
A new tunnel connecting the Massachusetts Turnpike to East Boston and Logan Airport
An obsolete and dangerous highway, from Massachusetts Avenue north into Charlestown, was replaced with a tunnel and bridge system that is safer and able to handle significantly more traffic.
The removal of the elevated structure in downtown Boston transformed the center of the city, replacing a barrier with a pleasant place to walk. The connection from Faneuil Hall to the North End is a particularly significant benefit for tourism in the city.

If they had proposed the Inner Belt as a tunnel instead of the Central Artery, might it have made it through?

kernals12

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Tip O'Neill described the inner belt best:
a China Wall dislocating 7,000 people just to save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore.

According to Bostonroads, federal requirements to provide replacement housing alone made the project infeasible.

Never knew that quote. Not that costing US taxpayers $25B to build a tunnel to "save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore" was a better idea, but hey he got his name on the boondoggle at least.

Tip O'Neill was correct about the Inner Belt, which would have bulldozed through his neighborhood. The Central Artery Tunnel project had an opposite effect. The project achieved the following outcomes:
A new tunnel connecting the Massachusetts Turnpike to East Boston and Logan Airport
An obsolete and dangerous highway, from Massachusetts Avenue north into Charlestown, was replaced with a tunnel and bridge system that is safer and able to handle significantly more traffic.
The removal of the elevated structure in downtown Boston transformed the center of the city, replacing a barrier with a pleasant place to walk. The connection from Faneuil Hall to the North End is a particularly significant benefit for tourism in the city.

If they had proposed the Inner Belt as a tunnel instead of the Central Artery, might it have made it through?

It would have been much more expensive. And you'd have still needed to demolish thousands of homes for your cut and cover tunnel
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Alps

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Tip O'Neill described the inner belt best:
a China Wall dislocating 7,000 people just to save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore.

According to Bostonroads, federal requirements to provide replacement housing alone made the project infeasible.

Never knew that quote. Not that costing US taxpayers $25B to build a tunnel to "save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore" was a better idea, but hey he got his name on the boondoggle at least.

Tip O'Neill was correct about the Inner Belt, which would have bulldozed through his neighborhood. The Central Artery Tunnel project had an opposite effect. The project achieved the following outcomes:
A new tunnel connecting the Massachusetts Turnpike to East Boston and Logan Airport
An obsolete and dangerous highway, from Massachusetts Avenue north into Charlestown, was replaced with a tunnel and bridge system that is safer and able to handle significantly more traffic.
The removal of the elevated structure in downtown Boston transformed the center of the city, replacing a barrier with a pleasant place to walk. The connection from Faneuil Hall to the North End is a particularly significant benefit for tourism in the city.

If they had proposed the Inner Belt as a tunnel instead of the Central Artery, might it have made it through?

It would have been much more expensive. And you'd have still needed to demolish thousands of homes for your cut and cover tunnel
It wouldn't be cut and cover. They'd have to bore it. But yeah, it'd be heckin' expensive even in the 70s.

kernals12

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Tip O'Neill described the inner belt best:
a China Wall dislocating 7,000 people just to save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore.

According to Bostonroads, federal requirements to provide replacement housing alone made the project infeasible.

Never knew that quote. Not that costing US taxpayers $25B to build a tunnel to "save someone in New Hampshire 20 minutes on his way to the South Shore" was a better idea, but hey he got his name on the boondoggle at least.

Tip O'Neill was correct about the Inner Belt, which would have bulldozed through his neighborhood. The Central Artery Tunnel project had an opposite effect. The project achieved the following outcomes:
A new tunnel connecting the Massachusetts Turnpike to East Boston and Logan Airport
An obsolete and dangerous highway, from Massachusetts Avenue north into Charlestown, was replaced with a tunnel and bridge system that is safer and able to handle significantly more traffic.
The removal of the elevated structure in downtown Boston transformed the center of the city, replacing a barrier with a pleasant place to walk. The connection from Faneuil Hall to the North End is a particularly significant benefit for tourism in the city.

If they had proposed the Inner Belt as a tunnel instead of the Central Artery, might it have made it through?

It would have been much more expensive. And you'd have still needed to demolish thousands of homes for your cut and cover tunnel
It wouldn't be cut and cover. They'd have to bore it. But yeah, it'd be heckin' expensive even in the 70s.

Tunnel boring technology was in its infancy in the 70s. And they used cut and cover for the Tip O Neill tunnel.
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kernals12

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I-105 in LA required the displacement of 25,000 people. But Caltrans ultimately got it through by agreeing to build replacement housing, reducing the number of general purpose lanes, and erecting sound barriers. That drove up the cost to $200 million per mile inflation adjusted, the most expensive interstate highway ever at that time. Caltrans was unwilling to give up on the Century freeway because it was much too important, relieving the 10 and 405 freeways of LAX-bound traffic. If MassDOT wanted the Inner Belt badly enough, they could've done the same.
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PHLBOS

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https://alpha.mapjunction.com/?lat=42.3436004&lng=-71.1117688&clipperX=0.7296977&clipperY=0.5708245&map1=google.SATELLITE&map2=mosaic.mapwarperlayer488&zoom=14.2017655&mode=overlay&b=0.000&p=0.000

Above is a link to the 1962 Inner Belt freeway plan overlaying current aerial view of Boston, with a slider to compare. Pan and zoom work as they do in Google Maps. You can select other maps dating back to the 17th century.
Very interesting that the overlay also included the MA 2, US 3 extensions & connector as well as the would-be Southwest Expressway (original I-95).  I would've loved to have seen a similar overlay for the proposed I-95 between Saugus & Peabody as well as the two Salem Connectors.

It appears that I-93 in the vicinity of the Inner Belt (I-695) interchange was actually built east of what was once proposed.
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PHLBOS

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Interesting.  If Route 3 were to stay on the Central Artery until the northern part of the loop, then follow the loop until it turns onto its own freeway, I trust at that point the entire "Route 3" could be switched to US-3

Does that also mean MA-2 would terminate all the way over where it meets US-3?
US 3 was never going to be extended beyond Boston. It would have been decades ago if so. MA 2 would have continued in probably to the Inner Loop and terminated simultaneously with US 3. MA 3 would either have been signed around 695 back to SE Expwy. or would have been truncated to I-95 (had everything been built); my guess is the former because MA never gets rid of anything.
A couple things worth noting:

1. As some here may know: prior to 1971, MA 3 went nowhere near Downtown Boston & didn't run along the Southeast Expressway north of Granite Ave./Neponset Circle (Exits 11 & 12 respectively).  MA 203 was MA 3 prior to 1971.

2. Unlike Interstate routes, US & State Routes can continue beyond its freeway corridors utilizing non-freeway roads; provided that such roads can accommodate/allow for through-truck traffic for most of the way.  Truck routes/detours would have to be signed for portions where truck traffic is restricted.

That said, one could see either US 3 and/or MA 2 piggybacking along I-695 up to either the proposed Mass Ave. interchange for MA 2 & Memorial Drive interchange for US 3. 

Another possibility for US 3 would have had it exit off the MA 2 extension/connector at Alewife and follow its present routing south of the proposed highway corridor.
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SectorZ

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Looking at this again I'm reminded of how much it bugs me that you can't go from I-93 south to US 1 north anymore. IIRC that was the first change that was part of the Big Dig (1989-ish?), the removal of the ramp.
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PHLBOS

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Looking at this again I'm reminded of how much it bugs me that you can't go from I-93 south to US 1 north anymore. IIRC that was the first change that was part of the Big Dig (1989-ish?), the removal of the ramp.
First change, yes; but such was actually a separate, precursor project known as the Central Artery North Area (CANA) project.

The main two things, aside from cost, that bug me about the whole Big Dig project to this day is that the I-93 mainline tunnels between the Sumner/Callahan Tunnel (MA 1A) & the Ted Williams Tunnel (I-90) are still only 6-lanes & the fact that both interchanges for the tunnels are not (no longer for the Sumner/Callahan) full-movement.

When the project was being promoted/touted during the late 70s/early 80s; it promised a wider I-93 for the entire length... 8-lanes minimum.  It didn't take too long for that underground 6-lane stretch to become bottlenecks at both ends. 

Redundant interchange ramps, even single-lane ones, at the tunnel interchanges would've certainly come in handy for when one of the tunnels is closed due to either an accident/incident or repairs/reconstruction.  Both of these issues were very short-sighted IMHO.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2021, 07:47:59 PM by PHLBOS »
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