Status, construction and traffic management of the Allston Multimodal Project

Updates on project status and construction.

FEIR and EIS Phase

February 2018 - The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) issued MassDOT with a scope of work for a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). Since then, MassDOT and its design team have been working to complete the work outlined in the EEA document.

Summer of 2018 - MassDOT leadership began an independent review of the options for the part of the project immediately next to the I-90 Viaduct – known as “the throat”. This review analyzed the three options under consideration for this area:

  • a new highway viaduct
  • a rail viaduct
  • all transportation elements, both road and rail, on the ground

The independent review team met with the I-90 Allston Task Force four times over the summer and fall. The review team’s work resulted in the Secretary’s decision to choose a fourth alternative, I-90 at-grade with Soldiers’ Field Road placed on a new viaduct elevated over I-90.

Since this decision, MassDOT’s project team has gone back to work with the Task Force to develop the preferred alternative. They have met five times since October 2018 with more meetings planned through October 2019.

MassDOT has also begun the process of complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the project. MassDOT has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) which will lead to a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Environmental filings for the project are targeted for completion in the end of 2021 with the goal of beginning construction in late 2022.

Preliminary Design and DEIR Phase

The project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) phase launched with a public information meeting held in June 2015. The goal of the DEIR phase was to refine the interchange improvement concept outlined in the 2014 Environmental Notification Form (ENF) while answering the scope of work developed in EEA’s MEPA Certificate.

Over the course of 2015, 2016, and 2017, the project team held:

  • 22 meetings with the Task Force, including sessions with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) to discuss the Placemaking Study
  • 7 Public Information Meetings, including 2 in Cambridge, and 2 in Brookline
  • 1 site walk at the request of Task Force membership

Besides meetings organized by MassDOT, members of the project team appeared at:

  • 2 meetings organized either fully or in part by Task Force membership and advocates interested in the project
  • 1 City of Boston organized open house in Allston
     

Conceptual Design and ENF Phase

The project’s first phase launched with a public information meeting held in April 2014.

Over the course of 2014, the project team held:

  • 10 Task Force meetings
  • four public information meetings—two in Allston, two in Cambridge
  • a briefing for the Allston Civic Association
  • a bicycle tour with interested Task Force members

The result of this work and efforts by MassDOT’s design team was a concept known as 3J. This was submitted to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for MEPA review. A MEPA site walk and scoping session took place in November 2014, and MEPA issued a certificate in December 2014.

After MEPA issued the certificate, the project team worked to address their questions and to develop the data needed to continue the conversation with the Allston community. This lead to the public information meeting on June 17, 2015, that marked the beginning of the preliminary design and DEIR phase.

Construction and Traffic Management

MassDOT understands that construction staging, and construction-period traffic management are major concerns for the Allston community. The project team has been developing plans for managing construction since the summer of 2015. The goal is to safeguard the livability of the neighborhoods around the project during construction.

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