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Now that the Route 79 expressway reconstruction project has officially broken ground, one of the first things to be broken will be the Route 79 expressway itself, with the highway scheduled to be closed for good sometime in February.
At a public meeting held Wednesday evening via Zoom, representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the construction team and the city laid out each stage of the estimated four-year plan for transforming the waterfront highway into a pedestrian-friendly urban boulevard. The final result will feature wider sidewalks and shared-use paths, and three new direct connections to the waterfront.
One of the project’s earliest stages will permanently close the Western Expressway — the mile-plus of Route 79 highway lanes that connect the Braga Bridge and the Veterans Memorial Bridge. According to MassDOT and Design Manager Jonathan Kapust of engineering company HNTB, that stretch of road will close forever as early as next month.
Kapust said once that expressway is closed, drivers will instead have to flow onto Davol Street — making the early phase and the project’s final end design “very similar.”
Photo by Colin Furze