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WTS-Boston Summer Tour – Conley Terminal Dedicated Freight Corridor Project


Written By: Tricia Pinto, Sanborn Head

On July 21, 2016, WTS members observed firsthand the great progress that has been made on the Conley Terminal Dedicated Freight Corridor Project.  The WTS-Boston Summer Tour started with a presentation by Mr. Kevin McWeeney of Massport and Mr. Jerry Friedman of HDR.  The Conley Terminal is New England’s only full-service container terminal and provides global access for businesses and industry, as well as 14 million consumers.

A terminal of this size requires a substantial amount of truck traffic.  In its current configuration, trucks use city streets in a dense residential neighborhood in South Boston to access the terminal.  This results in limited pre-gate queuing, tight turns, and significant noise impacts to the neighbors.  To address these problems, Massport acquired several industrial properties and secured land/water rights to support construction of a new bridge for dedicated freight travel, a new truck access and screening area, and an additional integrated container yard.  When completed, the project will allow direct access for trucks from Summer Street to the terminal, significantly reducing impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.

Summer_Tour2Massport has worked closely with the local community to develop the overall project approach.  This approach includes construction of a new linear park with a multi-use path, landscaping, and fencing.  Beyond the park is a 16-foot noise wall to further limit the impacts to residents.  Massport was also required to perform remediation of the industrial properties, which were contaminated due to the prior site uses.  The remediation was performed prior to construction of the project.  The design team incorporated many sustainable elements into the project.  These elements include infrastructure for collection of recyclables, stormwater capture and reuse, renewable energy systems, LED lighting, and use of a truck layover area to reduce idling.     

During the tour, WTS members observed the construction of the dedicated freight corridor bridge, the truck access area and a newly constructed U.S. Customs building with state-of-the-art scanning capabilities.  Tour participants also took a stroll in the new linear park, where new plantings are beginning to take shape.  It is clear that this $75 million project, which is slated for completion of all phases by 2022, will truly transform not only the daily operations at the Conley Terminal, but also the surrounding South Boston neighborhood.

Tour participants rode in style to the Conley Freight Terminal project site in a state of the art bus graciously donated by the MassDOT Regional Bus Program.  Ms. Connie Englert of TrueNorth Transit Group spoke about the bus program and the importance of buses in our overall public transportation system during the short ride to the project site.  The Summer Tour ended with a well-attended networking happy hour at M.J. O’Connor’s at the Westin Waterfront.

Thank you to the Programs Committee for planning a great event, including: Co-Chairs Laurie Carlson, MassDOT Highway Division; Lindsey Barbee, GPI; Board Liaison Colleen Moore, City Point Partners; and event champions Zachary Hellyar, CDM Smith; and Lisa Weber, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.



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