Posted by Thomas Tinlin, City of Boston Transportation Department Commissioner
Boston Mayor Tom Menino often says, “It’s not about who gets the credit, it’s about getting the job done.”
The Craigie Street Bridge project is, in my opinion, the poster child for cooperation and coordination among state agencies and local municipalities. It is a pleasure to work with a dedicated group representing the governmental and private sector parties impacted by what is the expected to be the most significant traffic detour required during the reconstruction of the bridges over the Charles River Basin.
The Boston Transportation Department is hosting the group daily at the Traffic Management Center at Boston City Hall to both monitor and adjust the traffic management plan for the duration of the detour of all southbound traffic along Route 28 from Cambridge towards Boston. Joining MassDOT and the City of Boston for this effort have been DCR, Mass State Police, MBTA Transit Police, Somerville Police, the Somerville Traffic Department, Cambridge Police and Cambridge Traffic Department, as well as the Museum of science, Mass General Hospital and “A Better City” representing Boston’s business interests. Collectively, the group brings a wealth of knowledge and resources that is invaluable to our collective goal, which is to keep traffic impacts to a minimum for the duration of the project.
It is crucial that this project proceeds in a safe and efficient manner, not just for Cambridge, Somerville and Boston, but for the benefit of the region as a whole. Although we’re still in the early stages, our prospects for success look good. Working together, we have been able to displace 25,000 vehicles a day while managing to keep this area up and running, and the impacts to our collective Cities to a minimum.
Under the leadership of MassDOT, we will continue to work together in a spirit of cooperation and coordination to see this project through. Our current efforts are a model for how government can and should work every day. At BTD, we look forward to this approach being the standard in future cross-jurisdictional projects in which we participate.