BRIGHTON (CBS) – Drivers who travel along the Charles River on Nonantum Road in Brighton are very familiar with the traffic problems.
Construction in this very popular and congested area has been going on for a couple of years now.
After two years of growing frustration, commuters like Glen Graves, who drives in from Auburm, admit they’ve grown tired of all the construction.
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports
“Every time they get to a point where they put down pavement, they put another hole in the ground,” said Graves.
Even Representative Michael Moran, who has lived in the area his entire life, admits that at times, the $6.8 million project, funded mostly by federal stimulus money, feels like a mini Big Dig.
“I don’t know what’s under this ground, maybe there is some gold under there, I have no idea,” he said. “But it seems like there is always construction at that corner.”
With thousands of cars traveling on Nonantum Road each day, the latest project, shrinking the road from four lanes to two, has commuters scratching their heads.
“It’s going to create a mess,” said Graves. “It’s going to create a huge mess.”
The goal, according to the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation, is to create a safer stretch of road.
“Nonantum Road has been the scene of several fatal vehicular accidents over the past decade,” said DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert, Jr. “After analyzing numerous traffic studies on these fatal accidents and conducting an extensive public process, DCR determined these changes were the best way to improve public safety on Nonantum Road.”
Rep. Moran says he does support the idea of making the roadway smaller and safer, and more accommodating to bikers and walkers looking to enjoy the Charles River.
“This is the only crossing from Brighton to get down to the river. The rest of the river is secluded from major roadways. I’m more concerned about the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. I see a lot of families coming down and walking with their kids. It’s a dangerous intersection.”
He also says engineers have told him that with proper light sequences, the result will be a smoother traffic flow.
But, Rep. Moran thinks one of the problems could be corrected without construction.
He claims that a big part of the congestion problem is commuters getting on or off the Mass Pike at the Newton Corner exit, which lets them avoid paying the Allston-Brighton tolls.
“People who live west of Boston stop using my neighborhood as a cut though,” he suggested with a laugh.