Major transportation project on the Mass Pike takes another step forward

BOSTON — A major project in the state just took a major step forward.

Gov. Charlie’s Baker’s administration is supporting a $1.7 billion project would help develop the entry way to the city along the Mass Pike.

MassDOT Highway Adminstrator Jonathan Gulliver says the project centers around an area called “the throat.”

“You have rail service, you have 12 lanes of highway and very heavily used walking path and it is right on a critical natural resource for Massachusetts, the Charles River,” said Gulliver.

The state is looking to reconfigure the area to help several modes of transportation. People who live in areas of Allston cut off by the so called “throat” are hopeful this project better configures this end of town.

Brandon Conforti has been living in Allston for years.

“Being able to walk every where you need to go but having these things like the Charles River and easier access to that is going to be great,” said Conforti.

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In the end the project would make the Pike at ground level and also it would be straighter so you have to deal with that this turn as you head through Allston and Brighton.

“Right now it is a little daunting”, said Conforti.

The mega-project still has countless hurdles but the highway administrator says it will be a huge benefit at so many levels -- including opening up 100 acres of land, primarily a rail yard owned by Harvard.

“It removes what is currently a pretty sizable bottleneck and source of congestion”, said Gulliver. “It also improves a lot of the congestion that are in and around that Allston neighborhood.”

The project still needs a financial plan and the state says it will need support from Boston and places like Harvard.

Locals said on paper it looks promising.

“We need to keep making development and keep going. Be person friendly and people and thinking about traffic is huge,” said Conforti.

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