State officials announced today they now have the money in hand for what could be a ten-year project to replace the current decrepit hulk of an overpass that connects Storrow Drive and the Fenway over part of the Emerald Necklace with more graceful roads - and new paths and parkland aimed at reconnecting the Emerald Necklace and the Esplanade, which were severed when the overpass went up over Charlesgate in the 1960s.
The first project will focus on replacing the structurally deficient Bowker Overpass over I-90, Ipswich Street, and the MBTA’s Worcester Commuter Rail line. On its current schedule, the project will be advertised in early 2024 and is expected to cost $59 million based on current estimates. The project will take approximately 2.5 years to complete once construction begins.
The second project will consist of the replacement and reconfiguration of the Storrow Drive eastbound bridge over Bowker ramps. Based on current estimates, this project is expected to cost $120 million and will be advertised in early 2027. The project will take approximately 4 years to complete once construction begins. ...
MassDOT and DCR will coordinate to replace and reconfigure the ramp system to better manage traffic patterns and maximize parkland. The projects will also restore usable open space along the Charles River and day light a key segment of the Muddy River, resulting in a number of environmental benefits including improved stormwater management.
Also, the new road alignments will end the current curved can-opener configuration on the exits on the outbound side that produce some of the best storrowings as trucks get caught at an angle, tipped over and peeled back. The proposed new Kenmore/Fenway exits would have truck drivers finish their curves before heading under the inbound side of the road, so while they might still have their roofs peeled back, their vehicles would no longer be left hanging at an angle.
More details on the proposal, including a series of before-and-after sliders of what the new Charlesgate will look like.