Rebuilding in 1950s-era style would be a missed opportunity


As we learned from our own experience with the Big Dig, Boston deserves better than an elevated relic dividing our communities (“The ‘transformational’ Allston Multimodal project,” Opinion, Sept. 8). Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack’s op-ed urging advocates to “focus on the needs, not the wants” of the project design perplexingly signals that an all at-grade solution to replacing the outdated I-90 viaduct is merely a petulant want.

Over the past five years, a diverse array of stakeholders has united in support of an all at-grade approach that would tear down the viaduct, create new transportation mobility options, and activate and restore an underutilized section of the Charles River. We do not need to rebuild I-90 as an elevated highway, and this vision can be realized for less cost and take less time to construct.

This project will shape Boston for the next century. Replacing a 60-year-old elevated highway with a new and bigger viaduct would be rebuilding 1950s-era roadway infrastructure, and it would be a missed opportunity. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation instead should choose a truly transformational at-grade alternative that will advance accessibility, equity, and sustainability.

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