http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/south_boston/2013/11/hold_dedicated_freight_corridor_and_green_space_project_move.htmlThe heavy trucks that rumble down East 1st Street in South Boston from Conley Terminal could soon be a thing of the past as the Massachusetts Port Authority prepares to move forward with its project to build a dedicated freight corridor.
The news that the project could begin as soon as next spring was a welcome update to residents who have long endured the noise, pollution, and safety concerns associated with the trucks that run through the dense neighborhood.
At a Wednesday night community meeting officials with Massport spoke with residents about the general idea behind the $35-million project, which in addition to improving shipping operations at the terminal, will increase neighborhood green space.
The expansion will allow Massport to move more freight through the terminal as well as hopefully improve conditions for those that can see the containers and ships from their doorsteps.
Construction is anticipated to take upwards of two years, with the first phase of the project expected to include the construction of the noise buffer wall and demolition work at the Coastal Oil parcel. That work could begin as soon as April.
The dedicated freight corridor will run from the terminal away from East 1st Street crossing over the Coastal Oil parcel and property owned by the MBTA and Excelon. The road will eventually connect to Summer Street using a bridge to cross over the channel.
The green space component of the project will include a new park along East 1st Street from Farragut Road to the MBTA’s property near M Street. The park, which will be patrolled by Massport security and will be fenced and closed at night, will include a walking path, new trees, and a memorial dedicated to the late-Thomas J. Butler, a long-time advocate for the project and the community in general.
The curb adjacent to the park will be realigned as part of the project and the existing parallel parking will be converted to angled spaces. Currently an estimated 50-60 cars can park on the northern side of the street. Once the angled spaces have been implemented it is estimated that up to 100 cars will be able to park on the northern side of East 1st Street.
Over the coming weeks Massport representatives said they will launch a project-specific web page and be back to the community before any shovels hit the ground.