13 years after construction began, drivers on 128 look forward to the end

13 years after construction began, drivers on 128 look forward to the end

WELLESLEY, Mass. — A crash on Route 128 South in Wellesley Tuesday morning caused major backups, and caused many drivers to question exactly what is the plan with construction in the area.

For more than 13 years, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has been working to widen the highway from Randolph up through Wellesley.

The Add-A-Lane project, as it is called, began in 2003 and is set to be completed in early 2019. Covering 13 miles, the project is set to cost a total of $350 million by the time it’s done.

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Tuesday’s crash happened where the southbound lanes of the highway split just before Route 9. Four cars were involved, including one that rolled over.

The construction causes traffic at all hours of the day, even when there aren’t crashes.

Bus and limo driver John Cataldo wants to know what's taking so long. He says he saw more daily progress with the Big Dig.

“I worked on the Big Dig back in the 90s and early 2000s and I saw construction going on and things seemed to move a lot quicker back then,” he said.

While the state says construction is finally headed towards the home stretch, deadlines for other recent high-profile state projects have been met more quickly.

Two high profile projects recently completed ahead of schedule include the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge in Boston and the Fore River Bridge in Quincy.

So why is this one taking 16 years?

"This major construction project is different from a bridge replacement and involves time consuming and intensive activates such as changing grades of the highway, utility work, milling and paving, and adding capacity to the highway,” MassDOT said in a statement.

But for businesses located just off the highway, like Boston Consignment on Highland Avenue, it can't be finished soon enough. Co-owner Real Roy estimates the business has taken a 30 to 40 percent hit and he blames the work.

“We've had customers asking us, calling us, are they able to get into the parking lot? And is the construction still going on outside?” Roy said. “And they're supposed to start at 6:30 in the morning, they start at 10:00 just at the tie it impacts us the most.”

MassDOT also said the public’s cooperation is appreciated, and the work is being organized to minimize the impact on the public and community.

Boston 25 News reached out to MassDOT for an on-camera interview but because of scheduling conflicts that interview was not able to take place before deadline.