Local residents form “Committee in Support of an East Boston Haul Road” adjacent to McClellan Highway

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The Committee in Support of an East Boston Haul Road has been launched. Members of this committee include Joseph Steffano, Deysi Gutierrez, Michael McCormack and Mariellen Dalton.

Its purpose will be to create a Haul Road and Waterfront Pedestrian and Bike Pathway from the abandoned MassDOT property along Chelsea Creek. The result will remove significant truck traffic from McClellan Highway and neighborhood streets and create a publicly accessible Chelsea Creek waterfront to benefit East Boston residents for the first time ever.

The railroad track once ran along the Chelsea Creek. Residents are expressing support for haul road that is now just an abandoned green belt among a cargo facility.

The unused land along East Boston’s waterfront near Route 1A has been ignored for more than 40 years with only the slow collection of trash occurring on what is valuable waterfront land in our community. A better use of the property is for a Haul Road and Waterfront Access that will directly benefit East Boston.

Since several islands were connected to create what we now know as East Boston, the rail line defined the boundary with Chelsea Creek. Yet, with the abandonment of that rail line in the 1970’s, nothing has happened to re-use this property.

The Commonwealth, MassDOT, Massport and the City of Boston have never done anything to put this property to use.

Residents of East Boston are, once again, wondering why other communities, e.g., South Boston and Chelsea, have haul roads that lessen the negative impacts from truck traffic.

The Marty Coughlin Bypass, built by Massport on a portion of this very same abandoned railway in 2012, reduced truck traffic on neighborhood streets going to and from the airport and Chelsea; yet, no steps have been taken to extend this bypass to alleviate the many more trucks going to and from the airport and all parts North of the city, i.e., the rest of New England.

The process utilized by MassDOT to provide relief to East Boston has been agonizingly slow, with MassDOT itself determining the property was of no use back in 2017!

The committee will be advocating for action from our elected representatives and city and state agencies to put this property to use now. The committee will directly advocate for an extension of the Coughlin Bypass from its current endpoint to the Revere city line, and the parallel creation of a waterfront pedestrian walkway and bike path. The Haul Road will provide an ideal alternate route for trucks, as evidenced by the success of the Marty Coughlin Bypass.

File photograph: EastBoston.com

Committee members recognize the environmental negatives of idling trucks within the residential areas of East Boston. Fewer emissions near homes, schools and parks will create a healthier environment for all.

When you are sitting in severe traffic in the next 30 days, due to MBTA shutdowns and weekends due to tunnel shutdowns, look to your left and to your right. Imagine how traffic could be improved by providing a Haul Road for commercial/truck traffic.

We have the solution for OUR community, a community that has solved our problems successfully in the past.

Residents impassioned civic engagement will send a clear message that they want to steer the conversation and planning on how best to alleviate the daily stresses that McClellan Highway traffic causes the community.

Submitted to EastBoston.com on August 30, 2022