In full transparency, the following is a press release from MassDOT
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is announcing it has identified a preferred design alternative for the project to reconstruct I-90 through the Allston neighborhood of Boston.
The preferred design is known as the 3L Interchange Realignment with the Modified At-Grade Throat Alternative and is a result of several years of public engagement throughout the design process and reflects feedback from a wide range of stakeholder groups.
“We are pleased to make this announcement after years of extensive public engagement,” said Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler. “We are grateful to members of the Task Force for their ideas, to local officials for their support, and to the MassDOT project and planning department teams who have been diligent in thinking of ways to rebuild the I-90 viaduct in a way which supports multi- modal travel in this very confined area near the Charles River, in an urban neighborhood, and where existing infrastructure makes any design choice challenging to build.”
“While the review process requires us to continue advancing several design alternatives, MassDOT’s view is this option has the broadest support among key stakeholder groups, and represents the best choice to expand access to transit, facilitate new or improved connections for cyclists and pedestrians, and allows for new economic development opportunities within the area,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “I want to thank the members of the community, especially the project’s Task Force, for their involvement and look forward to continued engagement throughout the review and permitting process.”
Per the process, all of the existing design alternatives will be included in a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report (SDEIR) to be submitted to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office; each alternative will be subject to a detailed alternatives analysis among other review process requirements mandated by MEPA.
At this time, MassDOT intends to formally submit the SDEIR to MEPA in 2023.
In parallel, MassDOT will advance the preferred alternative through MEPA’s federal counterpart.
“It’s long past time to take down the hulking Allston interchange and knit our communities back together with sustainable, multimodal transportation infrastructure,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with MassDOT and the many stakeholders who have worked hard to develop and refine this design.”
This announcement follows MassDOT’s filing of a Notice of Project Change (NPC) on August 10, 2022. Included in that filing was a letter expressing MassDOT’s intention to declare a preferred alternative by the end of the calendar year. In addition to ongoing stakeholder engagement, the NPC filing generated over 230 individual comments, the majority expressing support for the 3L Interchange Realignment with Modified At-Grade Build Throat alternative.
The Allston I-90 Multimodal Project creates the opportunity to dramatically improve livability and connectivity for residents of the Allston neighborhood while preserving and enhancing regional mobility through improvements to I-90 and its abutting interchange. In addition, the project will result in the creation of a new transit hub in the neighborhood along the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line.