What is this study all about?
MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning (Planning) is conducting a comprehensive study of the I-95 and Route 1 corridors from Route 128 to the Rhode Island state line that will examine and recommend ways to improve overall transportation mobility for residents, businesses, and visitors, while minimizing impacts to neighborhoods and communities. Current improvements to I-95/Route 128 through Dedham and Westwood under construction, combined with plans for an improved I-95/I-93 interchange in Canton, have the potential to change travel patterns and encourage further growth in the communities along I-95 south of Route 128, which has been a high-growth area of the Commonwealth. This study will examine and address the long-term impact that potential growth would have on the region’s transportation infrastructure.
What are the anticipated outcomes of this study?
A full range of alternatives will be developed and analyzed as this planning study progresses. This range includes transportation demand management and other "non-highway" options in addition to potential roadway and transit improvements. A recommended plan of short-term and long-term improvements – based on the alternatives analysis and the collective input of many stakeholders – will be the end product of this study.
Who is involved?
Planning has worked with local officials to form a Study Advisory Group (SAG) for this study. These advisory groups typically include federal, state, regional and local agencies, legislators, local elected officials, and interested community and business organizations. The I-95 South Corridor Transportation Study Advisory Group will provide a forum for community involvement and input into the study. VHB is the lead consultant for the study team.
How will decisions be made?
Decisions that must be made during the course of the study include which alternatives to develop and study in detail, as well as which recommendations to make, following evaluation of those alternatives. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation must ultimately make those decisions, but they are committed to soliciting advisory group and public input and giving that input careful consideration at every step of the way. The SAG is an important forum for dialogue about these decisions. While unanimous agreement on all the issues may not be possible, one aim of the study is to reach reasonable consensus on what should be done.
When will the study be completed?
The study is expected to take approximately 18 months, with a scheduled completion of Spring 2010. There will be substantial opportunities for input from the Study Advisory Group and the public
throughout the study process, and beyond the study completion as well during subsequent phases of development for any recommended projects.
How long until something is done?
Major transportation improvements can take many years to implement. This study will attempt to recommend both short-term and long-term solutions, while considering both highway and non-highway options. Any major long-term improvements recommended by the study would likely first need to be more fully analyzed in a separate environmental study. Following the environmental phase, improvements must be fully designed (beyond the conceptual designs that would be outlined in this planning study). Short-term, more minor improvements that do not pose significant environmental impacts could potentially be implemented in 3 to 4 years (depending on the specific type of improvement recommended). Another consideration is funding. Transportation projects must appear on a regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in order to be funded. The TIP is a staged six-year program of capital improvements that reflect the needs of the regional transportation system. Each metropolitan region in Massachusetts updates its TIP every year. Under federal regulations, the TIP must be constrained to available funding, and be consistent with the long-range Regional Transportation Plan.