Reasonable Shovel Ready-able Pitches

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,358
Reaction score
497
I'd like to discuss a grey area:
+ Currently shovel ready -OR- something we could get "ready enough"
+ Either within the bounds of EIS work -OR- Not needing it
+ Functional transit -OR- having a secondary transit benefit

Recall that for the last stimulus, this ended up being things like
+ Accelerated bridge replacement (but bridge got more multimodal)
+ Bike path construction (e.g. Alewife Brook path
+ Repaving & re-striping of roadways

What's that list of things that Mass should be queuing up for the next stimulus?

Mine are:
+ Mass Central Rail Trail & Grand Junction Path
+ GLX to MVP
+ Alewife CR & Footbridge
+ Clear the ROW from Union Sq to Porter Sq (rebuild bridge, move electrical, re-align CR to south side & soundwall the south side too)
+ Bus Lane on Congress St (North Station to Seaport)
+ Whatever it takes to launch 30 min CR service on the "DMU 2024" map
+ I-93/I-95 in Woburn
 

Semass

Active Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
717
Reaction score
45
+ Green Line Type 10
+ Commuter Rail Bi-Level Coach Procurement
+ Commuter Rail GP40 replacement
+ ADA and High Level Platforms
+ Current Orange, Red, Green Line Transformation project elements
+ Worcester Platform 2
+ Springfield - Conn State Line NHHS track work
+ Double Tracking where possible on B&A Main
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,089
Reaction score
1,017
Might be better to narrow the definition of this to "which projects are best-suited to fed stimulus funding sources?" rather than just chucking up a generic bucket list of must-haves laying around. Otherwise this is such an eye-of-beholder exercise it lacks a certain baked-in consensus-building binding energy and is more likely to dilute the priorities rather than clarify them.

Fed grants in particular carry their most weight on projects that have multiparty or multi-state coattails rather than straight-transaction MassDOT +/vs. local municipalities' planning. The latter bucket list is more highly self-contained and more appropriate for state-level stimulus, such as passing another transpo funding bill fed by gas tax increase while post-COVID gas prices are expected to stay long-term flat. You don't necessarily want to waste a fed award on something that's just a straight-up state/town transaction. It is, for one reason, why the feds have been so averse to allotting *anything* for South Coast Rail other than some minor awards for mutually freight-serving prep work...in spite of 3 decades of pollyanna projections from local pols that the project had a birthright to live large off fed largesse. In reality 90% of the expense is state/town transactional and just doesn't rate in D.C. as any sort of award priority.

So with that in mind, maybe constrain the list for fed stimulus to:
  • Major interstate highway projects (e.g. the interchange rebuild megaprojects).
  • Anything Amtrak-related, incl. Providence Line RUR implementation in shared-control jurisdiction or mutually-serving Lowell/Haverhill RUR + Downeaster work.
  • Most major freight rail projects ID'd in the official MA State Rail Plan, and anything passenger that intersects freight rail considerations. Biggies are:
    • B&A Inland Route/Worcester Line viz-a-viz CSX
    • Patriot Corridor/outer Fitchburg Line viz-a-viz Pan Am Southern.
    • Conn River Line viz-a-viz Pan Am Southern.
    • Western Route/Downeaster viz-a-viz Pan Am.
    • Worcester Line RUR expanded layover viz-a-viz Providence & Worcester or CSX.
  • *Minor* local freight-coattail projects and shortline + passenger overlap. The feds are very good right now about giving shortlines some love, and MassDOT has been able to game that system in ways such as stuffing 3 full years of substantial Cape Flyer infrastructure renewal projects onto the CIP under the guise of mutually serving the public-private Cape trash train with Mass Coastal RR. Even though in reality that's about an 80/20 Flyer vs. freight split benefits-wise. The feds are in a giving mood with anything that can articulate mom-n'-pop freight coattails. Examples include:
    • Cape Cod closeout improvements viz-a-viz Mass Coastal. Including Falmouth Branch improvements for the dinner train and construction debris freights @ Otis Transfer Station.
    • Middleboro Secondary (South Coast Rail Phase I + future Amtrak Cape Codder revival) viz-a-viz CSX & Mass Coastal.
    • Final funding dumps for enacting planned Fall River Branch freight reactivation to RI state line for 2 major Mass Coastal freight customers. i.e. the MA-side closeout provisioning for future post-SCR reactivation of RIDOT Newport Secondary. P&W in RI sits on quid-pro-quo 'active'/non-abandoned rights to Newport (via Pawtucket-Attleboro-Taunton-FR) that juristictionally auto-bypasses all monied NIMBY screaming over Tiverton reactivation with unilateral "Notice to Reactivate" 30-day notice to abutters and self-contained FRA inspection of any relaid track + drawbridge to unilaterally resume full service. A clever little bit of foresight RIDOT negotiated with P&W back in 1988 when freight service stopped, which is going to make heads explode when the Tiverton mansion owners get told this is not a de-abandonment at all and every protest tactic in the book is pre-empted by federal law.
    • Forge Park RUR expanded layover site selection viz-a-viz Grafton & Upton RR taking over the Milford Branch from CSX; Conn River Line expanded passenger service viz-a-viz expanded Pioneer Valley RR/Pan Am Southern Holyoke Interchange.
    • Framingham North Yard TOD redev and street grid improvements near grade crossing via CSX & CP ("South") yard relocation "Pimp My Yard" fun bux.
  • Future interstate highway corridors. For example:
    • Mandatory MA 3 add-a-lane project to replace breakdown lane travel funding-pitched as Phase I for corridor redesignation to I-93 Braintree-Sagamore Bridge.
    • 128/US 3 interchange rebuild as I.O.U. for I-293 redesignation south of Manchester
    • Finishing MA 146 Millbury-Sutton expressway gap as I.O.U. for Phase I I-x90 designation to I-295 in Woonsocket (I-95 Providence when RIDOT infills the North Smithfield expressway gap). Major intermodal truck route, so can work that designation as an angle on a grant app.
    • Completion of US 44 in Middleboro to 495 + rebuild of convoluted 495/18/44 interchanges + needed 495 add-a-lane from MA 24 to US 44 as I.O.U. to eventually redesignate as "I-493" (i.e. 93-to-495) after MA 3 gets rebadged as 93.
  • Interstate commuter rail.
    • Jump-starting Lowell Line poke to Nashua Downtown w/ layover yard, now that the border-poke/"go it alone" scheme has non-disrupted momentum in Nashua.
    • Hartford Line commuter rail interlining to Springfield-Greenfield (waaaayyyy better prospect than any MassDOT-operated solo joint with forced SPG transfer, and possibly cheaper to operate as a "reverse-Pilgrim Agreement" appendage to CTrail.
    • Various 'vision thing'-serving stuff for Providence Line RUR, RIDOT NEC Intrastate, and where those services eventually cleave from each other.
    • Cueing up an all-inclusive "Franklin Line Corridor Improvements" comprehensive study that writes the book on all RUR upgrades & Fairmount Line service chaining, all station upgrades, full-time Foxboro Branch CR, new Forge Park layover yard layover siting, suburban feeder buses to Walpole & Norwood on the highest-density mainline service overlap, and comprehensive extension Alternatives evaluation inclusive of either/both Forge Park-Milford and Franklin/Dean-Woonsocket options (incl. treating shared efficiencies @ Woonsocket layover with RIDOT Intrastate).
  • East Coast Greenway trail network (and primary branchlines).
    • Closing sale on the South Sudbury-Framingham State U. and Billerica-Downtown Lowell segments of the Bruce Freeman Trail held hostage by CSX & Pan Am asking prices...and doing it at state level instead of (insane) current practice of letting notoriously unreliable municipalities direct-negotiate with the RR's.
    • Central Mass Trail buildout + Phase II upgrade of Upper Charles River Trail Milford-Framingham (also one that needs state buy of CSX Holliston Branch so trail surface can be upgraded from barebones crushed stone limited by Town of Holliston CSX 'rent' aggreement to full-on paved DCR job with real landscaping).
    • Prelim studies for connecting Bruce Freeman & Upper Charles across downtown Framingham and active rail properties using available MWRA land and select street crossings.
    • Worcester studies for options connecting downtown with Blackstone River trail head south of Downtown + infills of last Pawtucket-Blackstone + Worcester-Blackstone gaps in trail so trail fully connects Downtown Hartford to Providence or Worcester when CT completes last gap filler of Air Line + Charter Oak Greenway trails.
    • 'Vision thing' long-range study of options for interconnects of major Bruce Freeman/Central Mass, Air Line/Blackstone River, and Bay Colony trail cogs as part of pan- East Coast Greenway strategy. Includes Upper Charles extension Milford-Bellingham Jct. on power line ROW to meet West Medway extension of Bay Colony Trail, examination of ex- Charles River Branch (a.k.a. Needham Line) ROW Bellingham-Blackstone, possibility that future rapid transit conversion of Needham Line frees up Needham Cutoff ROW (West Roxbury-Needham Jct.) into final City of Boston connection to Emerald Necklace & SW Corridor trail networks via VFW Parkway.
  • "Other" multiparty miscellany.
    • West Station with all its extra Harvard red tape might qualify with a well-crafted grant app, since the incumbent local & state planning silos are so fucking inept at getting their stories straight on Beacon Park.
    • MassDOT acquisition of Widett Circle ground-level storage w/ air rights redev provisions, as funding for that has dotted-line benefits to Amtrak @ Southampton Yard (removal of T storage interference) and Harvard (zero-out of T storage easement for more land redev).
    • Any stuff that touches jurisdictionally more complicated Massport property, with great need for outside forces to help keep instant-gratification/zero-attention-span City/BDPA/private-dev SimCity impulses and very long-range port function planning from being locked in neverending conflict.
    • Anything from the fed level that help get us unstuck from our 50-year state & local ineptitude on moving Mass Pike air rights. As in..."Please pity us; we suck so bad at this it's anti- life affirming."

You get the idea. Fed fun bux is more useful for crossing jurisdictional lines or starter installments of project phases whose final implementations have 'vision thing' coattails vastly more widespread. And those grant apps sort of need to be rationed accordingly because fed stimulus is not a neverending funding pipe that's going to reliably slay our project backlog. Self-funding reform by a new post-COVID transpo revenues package in the Legislature next year is going to be the more equitable solution for the projects that persist on straight state vs. municipality hand-holding that lack any above-and-beyond coattails.
 
Last edited:

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,358
Reaction score
497
Anything Amtrak-related, incl. Providence Line RUR implementation in shared-control jurisdiction or mutually-serving Lowell/Haverhill RUR + Downeaster work.

What would that look like? Should we be picturing:
PVD line electrification (Power substations, yards & Stougton)
TFG Airport platforms & station circulation

Downeaster:
PTC all the way to Brunswick?
Completing Wildcat to HVL double tracking & crossings?
Double tracking in NH & ME?
Paying for PanAm to PTC their locomotives?

Also would making rolling stock in Springfield be "buy American 'enough'" for us to buy rolling stock from them with Fed $?
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,358
Reaction score
497
Where are the Big Highway projects in their planning & approval process?
  1. Mass Pike realignment (Allston)
  2. I-93/95 Woburn
  3. I-93/95 Stoughton
Could Masspike HOV or add-a-lane I-84 to I-495
 

bakgwailo

Active Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
965
Reaction score
59
Could only dream of three lanes all the way on Route 3, and the Army Corps getting on a certain bridge replacement.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,089
Reaction score
1,017
Anything Amtrak-related, incl. Providence Line RUR implementation in shared-control jurisdiction or mutually-serving Lowell/Haverhill RUR + Downeaster work.

What would that look like? Should we be picturing:
PVD line electrification (Power substations, yards & Stougton)
TFG Airport platforms & station circulation

Downeaster:
PTC all the way to Brunswick?
Completing Wildcat to HVL double tracking & crossings?
Double tracking in NH & ME?
Paying for PanAm to PTC their locomotives?

Also would making rolling stock in Springfield be "buy American 'enough'" for us to buy rolling stock from them with Fed $?
More or less comprehensive list. Individual tasks can be parceled out itty-bitty and scaled to as big or small as the resulting grant award.

Joint T/AMTK chores on NEC:
  • Sharon sub expansion (T pays, AMTK owns/maintains).
  • 128, Canton Jct., Sharon, Mansfield, Attleboro, South Attleboro full-highs, passing tracks or local-platform turnouts, etc. (split ownership of 128 Station for 3rd/4th tracks, T ownership of all others, AMTK is track maintainer responsible for laying new track or installing freight-passer crossovers between tracks).
  • 4th track Forest Hills-128 + whither abandon or rebuild Hyde Park.
Joint T/RIDOT chores on NEC:
  • T.F. Green expansion: build northbound platform, install freight gauntlet on existing track so it can be electrified, up/down RIDOT/AMTK decision on whether NE Regional platform to be built on center tracks.
  • Pawtucket layover wire-up.
  • Cranston substation expansion (NOTE: *very* minor work compared to Sharon sub expansion, because of no need to support busy terminal district and sparser RIDOT Intrastate service levels south-of-PVD).
  • Mid-line layover & MOW facility @ West Davisville (primary RIDOT Intrastate layover to keep from crowding out Providence Line @ Pawtucket layover, plus maint sheds capable of hosting outsource vendor work such as tasks T already taps Seaview RR @ Davisville for). Yard in question is currently a sparsely-used AMTK parking spot. [Lower priority but helpful]

Haverhill RUR/Downeaster stuff:
  • Upgrade West Medford crossing protection (quad gates, road signalization with queue-dump logic, elimination of crossing tender position, easing of speed restriction).
  • West Medford ADA (Downeaster/freight center passing track desirable, spanning from north side of Canal St. crossing to Playstead Field MOW siding)
  • Wilmington platform relocation--opposite-facing south of MA 60 grade crossing--so both platforms accessible from Haverhill/Wildcat side and can be done as full-high w/ center DE/freight passer under existing bridge. New crossovers from Wildcat for reaching relocated southbound platform.
  • Wildcat Branch double-track.
  • Reactivate Salem St. station on Wildcat (still T owned, with parking lot) as RUR replacement for North Wilmington (Reading Line will not be turning back there). May need permanent mini-high exemption like Ballardvale/Andover if platforms on both tracks.
  • Finish Ballardvale & Andover second platforms.
  • Rehab Lowell Jct. southbound wye for freight routing flexibility.
  • Extend Lawrence Yard south freight leads (Tracks 3 & 4) 2000 ft. south of I-495 overpass. Extend Lawrence Yard east freight lead (Track 3) 2000 ft. to I-495 overpass.
  • Funding for completing Bradford layover relocation to state line (grading work underway at new site, but still needs funding installments). Fund post-relocation rebuild of Bradford Station as full-high w/ passing tracks so DE + freights have priority on Merrimack River Bridge slots.
  • PTC install from Plaistow interlocking (end of double-track) to Brunswick + PTC outfitting of more Pan Am freight locos.
  • Additional double-tracking NH/ME (Wells siding extension just got a fed grant...need more where that came from).
  • Fed grants for more tie renewal NH/ME so NNEPRA & PAR don't get caught behind the eight-ball again like 3 years ago during "Speedo Summer From Hell".
  • NNEPRA grants to raise all Exeter-and-beyond platforms to full-high with gapped edges, capable of high-and-wide freight passage using Amfleet replacement fleet's onboard gap-filler mechanisms.


RE: "Buy American" & CRRC-Springfield...there's a ban on using fed grant money to pay for rolling stock from Chinese gov't-invested manufacturers. That is a very specific national sanction levied against China as fair-bidding protection against state-invested vendors habitually lowballing bids at losses, when those bid losses are underwritten by the Chinese gov't in an effort to rig the game to pad their market share and drive out global competition. CRRC being the largest rolling stock manufacturer, it hits them hardest. So from the T's perspective, the 200-coach order (which CRRC has a U.S. design to bid) and the EMU order (which they really don't) will only allow CRRC to bid if it proceeds with 100% state funding sources and NO plans to seek any potential auxiliary fed funding sources. If they leave the option open to pursue any fed grant avenues, then the prohibition against CRRC immediately goes into effect. It's overwhelmingly likely that they will want the flex of fed augmentation, given the very large size of the order and fact that it will most likely involve a divergent bi-level design from the incumbent Kawasaki/Rotem clones on the roster from no likely bidders peddling another set of K-cars (Rotem barred from that one for no "Buy America" capability, and Kawasaki very unlikely to bid because its "Buy America" assembly factories are overbooked with bigger MTA subway & EMU contracts).

There's nothing Massachusetts can do about what's basically a de facto national tarriff sanction except weigh how the parameters of the order favor 100% state-funding (wider bidding variety) vs. tapping fed grants (usually not numerous for rolling stock, but likely to be more numerous than usual post-COVID which makes the timing ripe). Since it's still in RFP stage, we don't even know who the interested bidders are. And of course, the EMU contract and Bombardier's MLV coaches (guaranteed coach biddder) being cross-compatible with their EMU power cars makes the strategic considerations way more dynamic. I think chances are CRRC's going to have to sit this one out to max out their possible fed funding opportunities.
 

JumboBuc

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
2,161
Reaction score
234
Regarding Infrastructure-as-stimulus: that can be a good fiscal policy in an economic downturn in which there is an “output gap.” That is, when the economy is in a position where it is willing and able to increase production and output, but demand for this available increased production just isn’t there. In this situation, it makes sense for government to stimulate demand by just buying up a whole bunch of stuff. Since supply is standing by and waiting, the government can be the one who steps in and places orders with willing suppliers, providing the demand that private markets are not. It also makes sense for government to buy from the sectors of supply where the biggest output gap exists, because that's where each dollar goes the furthest and does the most good.

This is where we were after the Great Recession of 2008-2009, and it is especially where we were with respect to the construction industry. Construction was humming during the housing boom of the mid-2000s, but then after the bubble burst in the subprime mortgage crisis, demand for construction evaporated. Construction capacity was still there but demand wasn’t, so it was a sensible time for government to start buying infrastructure as a way to utilize the available supply capacity, fill in for the missing demand, and kickstart the economy.

However, this is not the situation we’re in in this crisis. Today’s economic downturn is marked by a freeze-up of both supply and demand. Right now, we don’t want a stimulus to get supply running, we want supply to go home. What we need right now is to cover people's necessities while they stay home. In the near term, we don’t know what the economy will look like once it gradually starts opening up and running, whenever that may be. It’s possible that an infrastructure and construction “output gap” will materialize, but it’s all possible that the construction sector will start humming again while other sectors (most notably: the service economy) will remain in recession.

One thing we do know is that in the years and months preceding this crisis, infrastructure supply capacity was at basically the opposite of an output gap. Construction demand was through the roof, contractors were operating at full capacity, and the market equilibrium was more characterized by labor shortages than lagging demand. When that’s the market condition, infrastructure-as-stimulus is pretty much the opposite of where a government should prioritize its resources. The construction industry leading into the 2008-2009 crisis was also humming, but that boom directly contributed to some of the underlying causes of that recession. Construction was so hot it overheated and collapsed, and that was all tied up in how the economy itself collapsed. This economic contraction of 2020, however, has absolutely nothing to do with construction, real estate, or housing markets, and so there's less reason to think that the recovery will be hampered by those market sectors.

Given what we knew about the underlying causes of the 2008-2009 Great Recession at the time, it made absolute sense to expect that a years-long construction downturn would follow that crisis. And that, indeed, is what followed. However, given what we know about this crisis so far, I’m not so sure I would expect the recovery to be characterized by slack in construction markets. From where I sit, I’d guess that construction activity will bounce back much more quickly than, say, the restaurant, entertainment, and travel industries. That's not something anybody would have said in 2009.

This says nothing about the wisdom of spending on infrastructure to meet infrastructure needs. If infrastructure is what the public needs, then spend on it. It does say, however, that spending on infrastructure for macroeconomic purposes might not be the best course of action over the coming years. Putting out-of-work servers, bartenders, entertainment venue employees, and hotel cleaners back to work might be a more pressing need than construction workers. And investing in public health and preparing for the next epidemic will likely be more appealing than investing in rolling stock or highway expansions.

I obviously can’t guarantee that an infrastructure stimulus program won’t happen, but I do think it’s inappropriate to assume that it will happen because that’s what was called for last time. This recession isn’t the same as the last one, and just as generals shouldn’t "fight the last war,” policy makers shouldn’t fight the last recession.
 
Last edited:

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,358
Reaction score
497
Scaled by job loss, this downturn may call for more stimulus than the last.

We are still waiting for the $1T infrastructure package both Democrats want and Trump campaigned on.

I have heard that for white collar jobs "all job searches are nationwide" (nobody is expected to interview in person, relocate, or show up at an office). That's gotta pinch commercial real estate construction demand for the next several years.
 
Last edited:

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
1,605
Reaction score
243
Two (at least one) fairly shovel-ready transportation project(s) would be: 1) "Grounding" the McGrath Hwy (removing the elevated sections); and, 2) Rutherford Ave/Sullivan Square reconfiguration.

Grounding the McGrath is more immediately doable than Rutherford/Sullivan Square, which is still stuck on whether to eliminate the underpasses at Gilmore Bridge and Sullivan Sq.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,089
Reaction score
1,017
Two (at least one) fairly shovel-ready transportation project(s) would be: 1) "Grounding" the McGrath Hwy (removing the elevated sections); and, 2) Rutherford Ave/Sullivan Square reconfiguration.

Grounding the McGrath is more immediately doable than Rutherford/Sullivan Square, which is still stuck on whether to eliminate the underpasses at Gilmore Bridge and Sullivan Sq.
It's not "shovel-ready" at all, though, because the boulevarding of McGrath hasn't been put into design. STEP has a lot of heavily-vetted conceptual renders informing what the design could/should look like...and that's great and all...but nobody's staked it to a DEIR yet or let the engineers take a crack at it. At high stakes for getting it right on the complete streets it leaves behind, that design process is going to take a few years and considerable sum of coin to thrash through. It's by no means a rush job. As bad as Somerville wants it, they also want every detail spelled out to the nines so the resulting canvas is as spectacular as possible. They don't get spectacular by cueing up a rush job. Definitely not when it's MassHighway they're dragging kicking and screaming into doing it.

Rutherford you just nailed...too many unanswered questions. I mean, what about that truck haul road to Moran Terminal/Boston Autoport that was supposed to first get all the heavy trucking off of Medford St.? And then the Phase II behind Hood Park and Bunker Hill CC next to the 93 decks so that traffic could be whisked out-of-sight to the 93/1 interchange? Are we going to take another crack at those as part of the pan-Sullivan plan? Because that can inform whether the underpass needs to stay for northbound access to MA 16 @ the Sweetser rotary or can go because all that traffic is being hand-waved sternly onto the decks. City, Massport, MassHighway et al. have been a giant vat of incoherent on how the moving parts fit together and which parts are still under any consideration...so Rutherford action, sadly, is very far from the starting gates.
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,358
Reaction score
497
How much of the work re-doing the draws at north station could be shovel ready? That's in design now, isn't it?
 

tysmith95

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
2,596
Reaction score
67
^ The North Station Drawbridge is some good low hanging fruit.

Other projects could be the I-93/I-95 Interchange in Woburn. Electrification of the Commuter Rail. South Station Expansion (although a 4 track NSRL would be preferred).

Another idea would be an improvement to Route 1 in Saugus and Revere. A study was funded on this last year but I don't know what came of it.
 
Last edited:

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,089
Reaction score
1,017
How much of the work re-doing the draws at north station could be shovel ready? That's in design now, isn't it?
It's not one that can be sped up, though. Multiple contractor touches involving a shitload of utility relocation, somebody to do the approach spans, and somebody to do the moving spans. Plus commuter rail has to keep moving throughout, so the work windows aren't compressible around the service day.

^ The North Station Drawbridge is some good low hanging fruit.

Other projects could be the I-93/I-95 Interchange in Woburn. Electrification of the Commuter Rail. South Station Expansion (although a 4 track NSRL would be preferred).
Uhhh...those aren't low-hanging fruit. Each and every one of those is a fricking massive megaproject. None of them funded at all, and none of them in design except for the SSX track work functions (which unfortunately is lumped together in a monolith with all the real estate empire-building the local institutions are still infighting and navel-gazing over instead of chunked out as separate track and building projects, so also painfully far from the starting gates).

We know those are extremely important in the long run, but megaprojects are the very last things you could ever hope to sift under the couch cushions for an extra nickel's worth of efficiency right now.
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,358
Reaction score
497
It's not one that can be sped up, though. Multiple contractor touches involving a shitload of utility relocation, somebody to do the approach spans, and somebody to do the moving spans. Plus commuter rail has to keep moving throughout, so the work windows aren't compressible around the service day.
Pity, because right now--when Everyday is Saturday-- seems a time when you could simply replace all Northside service with buses.
 

sm89

Active Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
916
Reaction score
35
^ The North Station Drawbridge is some good low hanging fruit.

Other projects could be the I-93/I-95 Interchange in Woburn. Electrification of the Commuter Rail. South Station Expansion (although a 4 track NSRL would be preferred).

Another idea would be an improvement to Route 1 in Saugus and Revere. A study was funded on this last year but I don't know what came of it.
I REALLY wish I could find the plans they posted 10-15 years ago online showing the proposed realignment of Route 1, the removal of the stub ramps at the Revere cinemas, and the widening of Route 1 to 3 lanes between routes 60 and 99. They just disappeared.
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
1,605
Reaction score
243
I REALLY wish I could find the plans they posted 10-15 years ago online showing the proposed realignment of Route 1, the removal of the stub ramps at the Revere cinemas, and the widening of Route 1 to 3 lanes between routes 60 and 99. They just disappeared.
I remember seeing them posted on ArchBoston (this website). I think it would have to go through NEPA and public involvement first, then final design Given the NIMBY factor, that could take a long time.
 

sm89

Active Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
916
Reaction score
35
I remember seeing them posted on ArchBoston (this website). I think it would have to go through NEPA and public involvement first, then final design Given the NIMBY factor, that could take a long time.
Oh I don't think it's shovel ready to any extent. Just responding to tysmith95's mentioning of improvements to that section.
 

Top