General Infrastructure

Ron Newman

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Can the Sumner tunnel be made two-way while the Callahan is closed? The state used to do this routinely before the Big Dig, but I don't now how easy it would be today.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Can the Sumner tunnel be made two-way while the Callahan is closed? The state used to do this routinely before the Big Dig, but I don't now how easy it would be today.
Yes. But they'll probably just direct everyone to the Ted because that's a whole lot easier to manage.
 

TheRifleman

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Our infrastructure seems a bit outdated for what everybody wants to develop.

F-Line to Dudley: What is your view on the current roadways & Transit systems of Boston? Do you see us avoiding a LA type traffic scenario in the future (93 looks grim at times). All I see is everybody wants to build but no real investments in Infrastructure or MBTA?
 

datadyne007

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(93 looks grim at times)
93/SE-Xway just needs to be widened and proper breakdown lanes added. My friend's husband works for the BTD clearing out cars that break down in the middle of the highway. The stories he tells are crazy. Dozens of cars break down on those roads every day (including Rt 3 during the peak when breakdown lane travel is legal) and that's what causes the traffic. It's not necessarily all due to the HOV bottlenecks/merging and overloaded demand.
 

George_Apley

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93/SE-Xway just needs to be widened and proper breakdown lanes added. My friend's husband works for the BTD clearing out cars that break down in the middle of the highway. The stories he tells are crazy. Dozens of cars break down on those roads every day (including Rt 3 during the peak when breakdown lane travel is legal) and that's what causes the traffic. It's not necessarily all due to the HOV bottlenecks/merging and overloaded demand.
Is there room to do that in the highway's footprint?
 

mass88

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There are a lot of infrastructure problems in this state. The Southeast Expressway is a prime example. Long stretches without any sort of breakdown lane and you have inefficient HOV lanes.

The interchanges at 93/95 in Woburn and in Canton both need to be completely rebuilt and redesigned so there are flyover ramps and you have a stacked interchange.

The new stretch where 24 north merges onto 93 south is nice since there's now a dedicated lane, but the people coming from 24 north don't form one line, they go side by side and some even try to merge onto 93 early and that creates some backups.

I am not saying we need to build more freeways, or have 18 wide freeways like you see in some other cities, but taking what we have and making some minor upgrades will be nice.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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93/SE-Xway just needs to be widened and proper breakdown lanes added. My friend's husband works for the BTD clearing out cars that break down in the middle of the highway. The stories he tells are crazy. Dozens of cars break down on those roads every day (including Rt 3 during the peak when breakdown lane travel is legal) and that's what causes the traffic. It's not necessarily all due to the HOV bottlenecks/merging and overloaded demand.
Yup. Boston is paying bigtime for the short-sighted decision to claim every last inch of shoulder space for extra travel lanes. Look at how vastly improved 128 is now that the breakdown lane travel is gone and the highway is getting ultra-wide left and right shoulders. Even in Waltham and Lexington where they've been installing the jersey barrier solely to super-size the left shoulders with no capacity increases. Rarely does an accident seriously affect the flow of that road unless it happens on a ramp. The inside-128 Pike only has problems at the poorly-designed ramps and on the few squeezes in Newton and Allston where there are longer-than-usual gaps between full-width shoulders. And 290 in downtown Worcester is half the nightmare it was before its mid-90's retooling that fixed the shoulder pinches on the elevated and cut sections.

They would honestly be better off just getting rid of the 3 breakdown travel and re-claiming the zipper lane and lower deck HOV's for regular shoulders no-build and let the roads adjust to the lower capacity. But you know MassHighway...there can never be a streamlining, only increases. It wouldn't be a good highway by any stretch of the imagination, but it also wouldn't lock end-to-end the second somebody stalls, fender-bends, or blows a flat.
 

wicked

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What is needed is a dedicated HOV lane all the way into the city, reversible like the lanes on 395 and 95 in northern Virginia. This would encourage much more carpooling than a lane that ends (Savin Hill) well south of where most people need to get (downtown).

It won't happen, of course, because of all the land taking/digging needed.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/allston_brighton/2013/07/more_than_100_sign_letter_urging_state_to_revise_plan_to_reb.html

Looks like some people want changes made to the plans for rebuild the Cambridge Street Bridge.
Good. It's a city street in a dense neighborhood, not a frickin' divided highway. That thing is already a dangerous speed trap, and the DOT's abominable plan would've only made that worse. If they want to discourage jaywalking put a Brighton Ave. style mid-tall median with plantings on it (since it's on a bridge, basically like a long linear flower pot with grass and shallow-rooted shrubs).
 

datadyne007

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What exactly is the goal of the everlasting Tobin bridge construction?
 

BostonUrbEx

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What exactly is the goal of the everlasting Tobin bridge construction?
Scrape rust, repaint it. That's like 90% of the project. Why it's taking forever? My guess is they haven't painted it since it was built.
 

mass88

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Maybe I am missing something, or I simply do not understand the intricacies of these types of projects, but how is it that the Fast 93 project was able to completely rebuild and replace overpasses on 93 in a weekend, but a lot of other bridge projects take several months, or several years?
 
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The EGE

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The Fast 14 and similar projects (like the Fairmount Line bridges) are all plug-and-play pieces. They literally truck the completed new bridge in and drop it onto pre-made concrete abutments. It's limited in the size and type of bridges you can do it with - plus you have to be able to get the prefab bridge to the site which is easier said than done on Massachusetts roads.

That only works with bridges that you can build offsite, though. Stuff like the Tobin is just sheer man-hours.

That said, I think one-weekend replacements are the way of the future. There's a lot of bridges over the Pike and 128 that are begging for the same thing.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Maybe I am missing something, or I simply do not understand the intricacies of these types of projects, but how is it that the Fast 93 project was able to completely rebuild and replace overpasses on 93 in a weekend, but a lot of other bridge projects take several months, or several years?
Well, in the case of the Tobin it's environmental regs. You can't just scrape off several tons of rusting old lead paint and let if flake away into the water below. They have to use double the protection that would normally be used for, say, road-over-road bridge to prevent contamination. That's why it took for freaking ever to repaint the Braga Bridge.
 

matredsoxfan

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Fast bridge replacement's have been completed and are planned throughout the state.

Completed projects include
- Phillipston Route 2 Over Route 2A. Replaced in 121 Hours.
- Wellesley Cedar Street over Route 9. Replaced in 59 Hours.
- Hyde Park River Street over MBTA. Replaced in 62 Hours.
- Medford 93 Fast 14 Replaced 1-2 Bridges in 55 Hours during 10 Weekends.
- Fairhaven I-195 over River Avenue. 55 Hours over 2 Weekends.

Upcoming:

- 2014- Boston Morton Street over MBTA- 10 Days
- 2014- Millbury Route 146 over North Main Street- 3 Days per bridge (2)
- 2014- Berkeley Padelford Street over Route 24- TBD
- 2014- Framingham Route 9 over Scott Reservoir Outlet- 4 Weekends



There has been more projects that have used precast and prefabricated pieces that have eliminated months even years of construction.
 

matredsoxfan

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To paint a bridge is not as easy as it sounds. You need to set up a full containment system to catch paint chips due to lead. They then sand blast the existing paint, make steel repairs to some of the pieces of steel. Paint an epoxy primer coat to protect the steel from the weather and then a final paint coat. And that's just for one part of the bridge. Then they have to take down the containment and move to a different part of the bridge. The Tobin is a very difficult project. You add in that traffic needs to be maintained and you have a very complicated project.
 

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