To the Editor:
I am writing in regard to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Allston Multimodal Project because of an opinion piece by Mary Z. Connaughton published on April 27, 2019, Op-Ed: Mass Pike Construction Will Impact Framingham Commuters and Trains For Years.
While we understand why concerns are being expressed, it is important to remember that the project to demolish and replace the I-90 Viaduct in Boston is at a conceptual level of design.
A task force meets regularly to review various issues and provide feedback. In addition, in order to enhance public education, we are expanding the task force to include members from MetroWest and Central Massachusetts so that commuter rail customers between Worcester and Boston will be well represented.
As Ms. Connaughton notes, the preliminary construction concepts recently presented indicated some impact on MBTA service.
Specifically, the draft plans state the railroad track area may be reduced intermittently from double track to single track for approximately 2,300 feet beginning east of Boston Landing and up to the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge area. The exact duration and timing of impacts has not yet been determined.
As with all projects, MassDOT is aware of possible impacts and is working diligently to sequence construction with train schedules so service can be provided with as little disruption as possible.
We expect to achieve the same level of success with careful planning as was recently demonstrated with the project to replace the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge deck in Boston – which also impacted the Worcester-Framingham Line.
Although construction impacts are unavoidable with major infrastructure work, mitigating them is a major focus of the Highway Division and the MBTA.
We will continue to have regular communication with the public through emails, by hosting briefings with elected and municipal officials and during public meetings as the design and construction plans move forward.