Near Box District Station (See it larger)
Some of you may not know but I take photographs of the construction of the Silver Line Gateway Project in Chelsea. I've been doing this every month or so since the construction started in April 2015.
However, since I don't want to trespass, my photos are usually taken from public ways and sidewalks. But last Thursday (4/20), I was finally able to get a walking tour of the project with a MassDOT engineer and learn some things about the project.
For those of you that don't know, MassDOT is building busway with four new BRT startions over an old abandoned railroad bed in Chelsea, called the Silver Line Gateway Project. When it's finished, it will be used by the MBTA to extend the Silver Line to Chelsea.
This would create the "SL3" route (a new route) starting at South Station. It would follow the same route as the current Silver Line Waterfront buses, except bypass the Airport and head directly to Airport Station (to make a SL to BL link). Then SL3 leaves Airport Station, continues down the airport access road to the Coughlin Bypass Road in East Boston, over the Chelsea Street Bridge and onto the new busway. (Click here to see full route map)
Once the buses are on the new busway, they will service four new Silver Line BRT stops; Eastern Ave, Box District, Bellingham Sq, and Chelsea Station(s). The buses will end and turn around at Chelsea Station, behind Market Basket. (and the future commuter rail station, which is a part of Phase II.) (Click here to see Chelsea detail map)
Along side most of the the new busway, a shared use path is being built in conjunction with the City of Chelsea, which at some point in the near future, the plan is to connect this to the East Boston Greenway via the Chelsea Street Bridge.
This busway project is a neat project because it's going to feature signal prioritization and be This means at almost all crossings (and all crossings after Phase II) will have signals to give the buses in the busway right of way to car traffic.
The stations will have fare machines, security cameras, heated shelters, and a few other amenities. The entire project area will be well lit along with it being well secured, as most of the light poles will have cameras on them also.
This project is really just coming along without much issue. It's slightly behind its original plan (which early winter 2017), but that's only to add some items from Phase II on to Phase I (the initial set of signals, the ramp to Washington Ave, and a few other things). So the delay was a good thing, we're getting more than originally planned and it's going to be even better when it opens!
Planned opening is Spring 2018.
If you'd like to look at the complete set of all 200+ photos from the tour, you can do so by clicking here.
More information about the project can be found by clicking here.
And if you want to see older photo sets (or any of my other picture projects), you can browse my entire Flickr account by clicking here.
Some additional photos from the set:
Outbound Canopy at Eastern Ave Station (See it larger)
Nearly finished retaining wall, and grading for the shared use path (See it larger)
A view in the new busway with the Broadway Bridge in the background (See it larger)