Mass. to consultants: All is forgiven

I am still trying to make sense of the many comments from state highway engineers in response to the Town’s 25%-design submission for Mass. Ave.

But one thing leaps out of the comments released last week: the tone is very different from the sharply critical stance the State took a year ago.

Then, Mass. Highway raked the consulting engineers over the coals, although the specific problems cited seemed to be technical in nature.

In any case, this year the tone is markedly different.

Indeed, in a December 9 memo, Michael Galvin, MassDOT’s traffic operations engineer, gives the consultants high marks (at page 2):

Score: (0=unacceptable; 5=average; 10=exceptional): 9

That’s a 9 out of a possible 10 for the new design, and the consultants.

Update: As I read through the comments, I’m finding that some of the other engineers similarly rate the submission on a scale of 1 to 10. The environmental-compliance coordinator gives it a 7, and a memo from District Four’s Traffic Engineering Section gives it 8 out of 10.

Further Update: Here’s a bit of an analysis of the comments.

2 comments so far

  1. Mark Kaepplein on

    I agree MassDOT’s comments are focused on the technical. I think their disapproval in the last round was frustration over inadequate technical detail in the plans. It doesn’t seem to be their job to get involved in what towns want or vision. That’s probably more the purview of selectmen and Boston MPO. I learned fed review is needed for projects over $5 mil.. At just over, Arlington’s project must be at the bottom of their priority list, hence the wait.

  2. Eric Berger on

    Wait until the show down at the hearing.

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