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State Chooses At-Grade Option for Jamaica Plain for After Casey Overpass is Razed

The state's Department of Transportation decided not to build a smaller, lower bridge in place of the crumbling Casey Overpass.

The state has made its choice about the configuration of Forest Hills once the Casey Overpass is torn down. It will be a network of streets without a bridge, according to a statement by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The decrepit Casey Overpass has been reduced to one lane in each direction for safety reasons. It will be torn down. The question was what will replace it.

The state had originally said it would make its decision known in December, but delayed that for further traffic studies.

The state had told State Rep. Liz Malia, D-Boston, that it would make a decision by the end of February. But it missed that deadline, too, while responding to questions from skeptics of the "at-grade" solution.

The debate has divided Jamaica Plain. Supporters of a new bridge say the "at-grade" plan . Supporters of the at-grade solution say it will knit JP back together and .

The attached video shows a simulation of how traffic and people will flow without a bridge.

Pasted below is the statement from Transportation Secretary Richard Davey:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has selected the at-grade alternative for the Casey Overpass, which carries Route 203 over Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain.  The decision was made after an extensive public outreach campaign consisting of five public meeting and 12 Working Advisory Group meetings over a nine-month period.

That process has led us to determine that the at-grade alternative reconnects the neighborhood, provides more open space, incorporates more design elements that are pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, and allows for more efficient bus movements through the area. 

The existing Casey Overpass is in the advanced stages of deterioration and is at the end of its serviceable life.  Moving forward, the design process will undergo a series of steps to reach completion; MassDOT expects construction to begin in October 2013.

For an archive of coverage of this important issue, see our Casey Overpass topic page.

Larry Cronin March 09, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Six Lanes can be as bi-secting as the Overpass. Forest Hills shouldn't be looked at as if it didn't impact the rest of Jamaica Plain. I would anticipate that this project will cause some drivers to change travel patterns, and that the impact will be to increase traffic and speed (when not backed up) on Lamartine and Amory Streets.
Ken Griffin March 10, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Wow. Well, I wanted a new, elegant, award-winning bridge – preferably designed by an engineer from Japan or Finland with a flair for the fantastic. Looks like I’m getting an Edward Scissorhands kind of stitch job to pull my neighborhood back together (I’m embarrassed to admit living in JP for 31 years and not even realizing that!) as well as more green space (because a combined 1,025 acres of Forest Hills Cemetery, Franklin Park and the Arnold Arboretum is not enough). Maybe a six-lane mini highway really is the answer – I can only hope the State tracks traffic flow for at least 18 months after substantial completion of the project. It will be interesting to see who was really “right”…
Peggy Maxwell March 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Nice solution ! and it really is a solution! cost effective ethically appealing and it would work and could be initiated during the tear down meaning less construction time.
Marc near the Park March 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM
The underpass would have to go under the Orange Line and Commuter Rail tracks, that would probably cost big $$$.
Joan Wood March 18, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I was born and raised in Boston 55 years ago and was forced out to the distant suburbs because of the high housing costs. It's interesting to see the yuppies left in the neighborhood fighting over which ones can make a bigger mess of what's left. JP is a great neighborhood - or WAS until the yuppies moved in -- but it's insane to think that SIX LANES OF TRAFFIC is going to "improve" JP somehow. Are you all demented or just really stoked on that evil weed? Six lanes of traffic is going to make that area pretty much unliveable - you'll be overwhelmed with traffic, congestion, smog, and I don't know how pedestrians will get around - or T commuters. As for those of you fantasists who believe there will somehow be "less" cars in 3-5 years...only if we end up living in the Mad Max dystopia. We're NOT going to be driving electric cars and there are NOT going to be fewer of them. The economy is simply driven by oil and that is not going to change any time soon. It may never change until the entire society collapses. Wake up and smell the gas. It's coming to a neighborhood very near you. Guess I left at the right time.

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