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All Things Travel: Massport & The Community: A Balancing Act

By Bob Weiss, All Things Travel
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An aerial view of Logan airport and the greater Boston area as photographed on June 4, 2013 in Boston, Massachussets. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

An aerial view of Logan airport and the greater Boston area as photographed on June 4, 2013 in Boston, Massachussets. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

BOSTON (CBS) – The needs of Logan Airport, the Seaport and nearby communities are a balancing act with all three so close to downtown.

This was very much in evidence in South Boston on Friday, June 13 when over 300 people gathered under a tent on First Street, next to the Conley Container Terminal to break ground for the new Thomas J. Butler freight corridor and 4.5 acre memorial park. It is expected to open in 2016.

Butler served for 27 years as Massport’s Director of Government and Community Affairs and grew up in South Boston. He was the go-to guy for all things related to the communities that Massport served. He died in March of 2011.

When the new road opens, up to 900 container trucks a day will be taken off A Street with faster connections to major highways. Each year, more than one million tons of cargo passes through the port of Boston.

If there was a problem, “Call Tommy” seemed to be the theme of the morning event with an impressive list of speakers talking about his work and family life.

The speakers included: Mayor Marty Walsh, Congressman Stephen Lynch, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Representative Nick Collins, Boston City Council President Bill Linehan, Councilor Michael Flaherty and Butler’s son, representing the family.

Massport CEO Tom Glynn introduced the speakers. Also on hand were former Massport CEO Tom Kinton and former Massport Chairman John Quelch.

The Authority now spends more time and money on community projects. One of its major goals is attracting more people to ues high occupancy vehicles to its facilities.

In East Boston, they have built both the Piers Park overlooking the harbor and a park behind the MBTA Airport station.

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

Logan Airport and operations on the waterfront are responsible for over 25,000 related jobs.

With the help of federal and state officials, President Obama recently signed a bill that will provide major dredging of Boston Harbor to allow for larger container and cruise ships to dock in Boston.

While the event was taking place honoring Tommy Butler, over 20 trucks rumbled by on the nearby street and 3,000 cruise passengers were starting to board the NCL “Dawn” sailing to Bermuda.

Larger ships. Larger buildings. and a proposed larger convention center will present a major transportation problem for the Boston waterfront. More bus service is part of the answer along with new water taxi and scheduled water transportation.

All Things travel reports can be heard on WBZ News Radio 1030.

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