Between Boston University and the Charles River in Boston there is 204 ft of space. Officials involved in a Massachusetts Turnpike project call this area the “throat,” and the hope is there will be no gagging from designers and even contractors. Although there might be a gasp or two.
Within that 204 ft there needs to be room for eight lanes of I-90, four lanes of Soldier’s Field Road, two commuter rail tracks, the Grand Junction Railroad and a bicycle and pedestrian path.
On June 22, Massachusetts transportation officials discussed the options coming from a 38-page report on the redesign of the Massachusetts Turnpike through Allston. It all boils down to three options for the restricted space between Boston University and the Charles River: a new viaduct, constructing at-grade or creating a hybrid. The viaduct and at-grade options could take up to eight years to construct, while the hybrid could take as many as 10 years. A permanent impact to the Charles River could happen if officials decide to go with the at-grade option.
Another report on the project is expected to be submitted in July, with the decision on a preferred alternative coming in the fall. If the plan is ready in the coming months it will be included in the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority’s next five-year spending plan.