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I-93 Infraspace Phase 2 DesignMassDOT announced a Notice to Proceed has been issued for the second phase of the Infra-Space 1 Project to redevelop state-owned property under the elevated portion of I-93/Southeast Expressway, between Albany Street and Frontage Road.

The revitalized area is scheduled to include a 175-space surface parking lot, pedestrian paths and community amenity spaces, landscaped areas, and a storm water management landscape. The construction project is estimated to be completed in July 2016. MassDOT is finalizing an agreement with an operator for the new parking lot which will include 24-hour security, landscaping, trash and snow removal, and will facilitate the use of the entire site for arts, cultural and community events.

Highlights of additional improvements include:

• a pedestrian connection between the South End and South Boston;
• a landscaped addition to the Boston Harborwalk along the Fort Point Channel;
• three new community-amenity zones for dog-owners, sports, and a waterfront event venue;
• a storm water management landscape that seeks to improve the water quality of the Fort Point Channel;
• new and improved crossings on Albany Street, linking together the South End and South Boston with improved way-finding signage; and
• a pedestrian-focused plaza with innovative lighting structures wired to support art and events.

I-93 Infraspace Phase 2 Design 2“What started as an idea to address a long-standing nuisance has become a creative exercise in re-thinking how we use certain spaces so they add value to a community and can bridge neighborhoods together that were previously separated by highway infrastructure,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “I’m excited at the success the Infra-Space Program has had, and I look forward to finding more opportunities to repurpose underutilized spaces that add appeal to what was previously forgotten.”

The first phase of the project was completed in January 2014, with the installation of two surface parking lots containing approximately 235 parking spaces. Conventional parking lot lighting was enhanced by MassDOT’s inclusion of temporary ornamental lighting along the edges of the site and at major crossings for pedestrians and bicycles.

“The conversion of spaces like this into active, useable areas came as a direct result of engaging with members of the community to develop a shared goal for how we could make something that was avoided by neighbors into something that provided a benefit to the neighborhood,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “On behalf of MassDOT, we thank the residents of the South End and South Boston for participating in this effort and look forward to implementing improvements elsewhere, using these lots as the model.”

“I’d like to commend MassDOT on this initiative. Transforming this area into both a useful and desirable destination is visionary,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca. “Ensuring that public safety is a key component of the project by adding pedestrian crossings and updated amenities, and by also incorporating environmental benefits into the design, makes this a responsible project as well.”

MassDOT entered into a five-year agreement with property management and development company GTI Properties, Inc. to operate the project’s first two parking lot areas. The agreement with GTI Properties includes a requirement that the parking lots be open, staffed and secured 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the agreement provides some parking accommodations for local users, vehicle-sharing services, electrical vehicles, bicycles, and arts, cultural and community events.

The two-phase project is part of MassDOT’s Infra-Space Program established to provide innovative, redevelopment opportunities, and multi-modal solutions for areas under elevated roads, bridges, and/or viaducts. When both phases of the project are completed, the parking facility will cover approximately eight acres of property bound by Albany Street and Frontage Road and adjacent to the South End neighborhood of Boston to the West, the Fort Point Channel and South Boston to the east. The parking is strategically located where I-90 and I-93 highway ramps converge with local roads, multimodal paths, transit connections, and the Fort Point Channel in an area transitioning from industrial to residential and commercial uses. MassDOT previously used the property for construction staging and storage.

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