Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail (South Coast Rail)

DBM

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how much the ugly-ass MA 79 wall still hurts the city.
Seriously. Just look at the streetview. 79 amputates the inland neighborhood from Battleship Cove as remorselessly as the Central Artery once cleaved Downtown from the Waterfront--and the harms inflicted on Fall River are surely analogous to those which the Artery afflicted upon what is now the Greenway corridor.

The other glaring example in our state is, of course, the indefatigable I-91 viaduct in Springfield, ripping apart the fabric that would otherwise integrate Downtown with its waterfront. I'm surprised its demolition is not more of an urgent priority for MassDOT--unless I'm oblivious to headlines/pressures that are already emanating from out of the 413? (just don't say "WestMass"...).

If I were trying to orchestrate a campaign for demolition in the Pioneer Valley, I would just do a before-and-after traveling roadshow of how Seattle has transformed in the wake of the Alaskan Viaduct demolition. You'd think that would be enough.
 

millerm277

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The other glaring example in our state is, of course, the indefatigable I-91 viaduct in Springfield, ripping apart the fabric that would otherwise integrate Downtown with its waterfront. I'm surprised its demolition is not more of an urgent priority for MassDOT--unless I'm oblivious to headlines/pressures that are already emanating from out of the 413? (just don't say "WestMass"...).

If I were trying to orchestrate a campaign for demolition in the Pioneer Valley, I would just do a before-and-after traveling roadshow of how Seattle has transformed in the wake of the Alaskan Viaduct demolition. You'd think that would be enough.
(Mods, feel free to move...)

Pretty obvious to me why that's not really going anywhere:

- Even if you wave a magic wand and erase I-91 from existence, the rail lines run directly along the waterfront, in a way analogous to the Worcester Line in the "throat" for the Allston project. So you're arguably never going to have a well integrated waterfront.

- A substantial part of the elevated section is needed to clear the rail lines as they curve into Springfield station from the North, South, and West, crossing underneath.

- There's no expressway-grade alternative to I-91 through downtown Springfield and you could rightfully expect some very strong pressure from VT/NH to any sort of suggestion that something other than a continuous highway is acceptable.

- Unlike Alaskan Way, serving a downtown of a major city, I don't think anyone is going to seriously consider paying for a replacement highway tunnel for Springfield.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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(Mods, feel free to move...)

Pretty obvious to me why that's not really going anywhere:

- Even if you wave a magic wand and erase I-91 from existence, the rail lines run directly along the waterfront, in a way analogous to the Worcester Line in the "throat" for the Allston project. So you're arguably never going to have a well integrated waterfront.

- A substantial part of the elevated section is needed to clear the rail lines as they curve into Springfield station from the North, South, and West, crossing underneath.

- There's no expressway-grade alternative to I-91 through downtown Springfield and you could rightfully expect some very strong pressure from VT/NH to any sort of suggestion that something other than a continuous highway is acceptable.

- Unlike Alaskan Way, serving a downtown of a major city, I don't think anyone is going to seriously consider paying for a replacement highway tunnel for Springfield.
Definitely. It's not 'good', but there's no plausible alternative. And particularly north of center-downtown it also hid a lot of industrial crud underneath...including a distended mess of a Boston & Maine freight yard that began where the current 291 interchange is and extended way the hell up to where all the sprawly medical office buildings on 116 currently are. Plus, if they boulevardized the really really unnecessary US 5 expressway stub hugging the West Springfield riverbank you'd get one of your pretty riverbanks back at no big traffic demerits. I don't know what the hell the original planners were thinking when they did up 5 as a craptacularly substandard 55 MPH divided expressway. It doesn't 'do' anything.

I-391 can happily go fuck off, too, if they just turn the first 1.5 miles into a Pike connector w/ full interchange then boulevard all the rest through Chicopee and Holyoke into a relocated MA 116/MA 141. It looks from a few under-developed blocks in Holyoke that it was supposed to wrap back to I-91 at strangely overbuilt Exit 16...or even be the I-91 mainline itself in lieu of crossing the river to West Springfield. But no...from every historical source I've seen it was always intended to be a dead-end stump like that (although the originally planned Pike interchange was shelved). Get rid of it and let a street grid take root around an adjacent Chicopee infill commuter rail station running the Greenfield-Hartford service flavor of Hartford Line RUR. Holyoke is already thick with rail transloading thanks to all of Pioneer Valley RR's numerous waterfront spurs and aggressive marketing; 391 def isn't needed as a truck route of any consequence.


OK...there's your Fall River/MA 79 analogy: free Chicopee and Holyoke from the shackles of 391 and chart a new riverside density canvas from what it leaves behind.
 

Scalziand

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That expressway section of US 5 existed before I91, so it definitely did have a purpose at one point as part of the main north/south through route. I91 was originally planned to run along the US 5 alignment, but Springfield lobbied to have it on the east bank instead.


As an aside, I will never stop getting amused at how MA 57 and MA 83 form one of theose pretty perfectly straight lines on a map, but thanks to the bluff there, the South End Bridge deadends there, requiring a trip through the sinous set of ramps to continue straight. Real nice planning there.
 
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DBM

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Sorry for the tangent, but, it generated such thoughtful replies that it does seem like there should be a new thread topic here,

"Viaducts/Elevated Arteries And Their Impacts On Downtowns/Urbanism"

(or something along those lines), and these first few posts could serve as the springboard to a larger discussion, perhaps.

Finally, I'm embarrassed to realize I overlooked Worcester's--and is Springfield's in fact worse than Wormtown's? And which is harder to remedy, in terms of adjacent rail infrastructure, etc., that would have to be reconciled?

(I'm referring of course to how I-290 amputates the Downtown core from the Shrewsbury St. corridor, which to my understanding was revitalizing nicely, pre-COVID)
 

Scalziand

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Like in Springfield, the rail lines already separated Shrewsbury St from the rest of Downtown. And before the railroad, it was the Blackstone Canal separating it. With that said, there is at least the draw of Union Station to help bridge the gap. The station is surprisingly well connected for being surrounded by rail viaducts on 2 sides and 290 on the third. The 290 viaduct is high enough since it had to jump over the rail viaduct that there is still some visual connection between Shrewsbury St and the station
 

HelloBostonHi

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Bids are in for Fall River Secondary Construction, goal is to have it awarded at Monday's FMCB if all the paperwork can be ironed out in time. $6 million below budget: https://bc.mbta.com/business_center/bidding_solicitations/bid_responses/?cnumber=K78CN03

This bid includes 11 Miles of Track ▪ 2 New Stations ▪ 1 Layover Facility ▪ 8 Bridges ▪ 10 Grade Crossings ▪ 10 Culverts ▪ Systems ▪ Infrastructure

Freetown.PNG
FRS.PNG


Bidding is due to start on the New Bedford Main Line and Middleboro Secondary portion this month, and close in June
 

The EGE

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Yep, SCR is 100% high platforms. There's plenty of room at the station sites, so they have passing tracks for freight when needed, as there's no way they would have got an exemption for mini-highs. Unfortunately, they haven't repeated the clever design from the Old Colony Lines where the parking lots were level with the platforms - no steps or ramps required. It's also disappointing to see canopies covering only a short section of the platform with almost zero windbreaks.
 

jbray

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Is that Marty McFly circa 2015 via 1985 in the Fall River Depot render? He's even got the almanac.
 

jass

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This is actually happening?

I stopped reading threads like this and the MLS stadium one because I assumed it would be the same endless game of nothing forever
 

HelloBostonHi

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Bids are in for Fall River Secondary Construction, goal is to have it awarded at Monday's FMCB if all the paperwork can be ironed out in time. $6 million below budget: https://bc.mbta.com/business_center/bidding_solicitations/bid_responses/?cnumber=K78CN03

This bid includes 11 Miles of Track ▪ 2 New Stations ▪ 1 Layover Facility ▪ 8 Bridges ▪ 10 Grade Crossings ▪ 10 Culverts ▪ Systems ▪ Infrastructure

View attachment 5094View attachment 5095

Bidding is due to start on the New Bedford Main Line and Middleboro Secondary portion this month, and close in June
Contract for Fall River Secondary approved at FMCB meeting today, Skanska JV. RFP for the New Bedford Main Line is supposedly live.

Bid award: https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/...b-17-south-coast-rail-contract-accessible.pdf

General project update and station renders/layouts: https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2020-05/2020-05-11-fmcb-17-south-coast-rail-update.pdf
 

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