MassDOT has announced creation of the “Infra-Space” Program to identify areas under elevated roads, bridges or viaducts for possible redevelopment opportunities.
The Infra-Space program follows the successful ongoing development of a parking facility, multi-modal path, and adjustable ornamental light displays under a large elevated portion of the I-93 South East Expressway in Boston.
A Request for Information (RFI) distributed to municipalities, businesses, non-profit institutions, property owners, developers, and community and arts organizations asks for nominations and redevelopment project proposals for locations across the Commonwealth where elevated roadways, bridges, viaducts, or other transportation infrastructure are a barrier to neighborhoods, pedestrians, bicyclists, multi-modal travel, urban resources, and economic development opportunities.
“The public-private partnership to develop the area under the South East Expressway is proving to be a great success in connecting neighborhoods and providing important services and a place for artistic expression,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “We are confident this innovative approach can work in other locations where a transportation barrier can be converted for a community’s benefit.”
The Infra-Space program asks for redevelopment ideas that would:
• Create a gateway between neighborhoods/urban resources
• Create better connections for multi-modal travel
• Create an arts/event space for adjacent communities
• Support local economic development through commercial uses/parking
• Create recreational amenities/new open space
• Increase safety/security through more active use and lighting
Infra-Space Nomination Forms are due by Wednesday, August 20, and Project Proposal Forms proposing public-private partnerships to improve underutilized spaces are due by Wednesday, September 17. The RFI is available on the web at: www.mass.gov/massdot/realestate
MassDOT earlier this year reached agreement with GTI Properties to provide parking in two lots under the elevated portion of the I-93 Southeast Expressway in Boston. The parking serves the public with spaces set aside for use by the Pine Street Inn. Space is also reserved for Zipcar vehicle-sharing service and bike cages for bicycles.
MassDOT constructed new sidewalks, and installed adjustable ornamental lighting which can project colored lighting and symbols on the highway viaduct overhead and the sidewalk below. The result is improved conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists passing through the site and a point of civic pride.
The second phase of the project scheduled for substantial completion early next year includes additional parking spaces, a new multi-modal path connecting the South Bay Harbor Trail to Kneeland Street, and a new, transportation-themed public space which extends the Boston Harborwalk along the Fort Point Channel.
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