Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel Project: Challenging Problems, Innovative Solutions

by James C. Doebler,
Terry Brown,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Construction Congress V: Managing Engineered Construction in Expanding Global Markets


Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) Project is the largest, most complex highway project ever undertaken in the United States. Conceived a quarter centrury ago, the project has been in construction in and around downtown Boston since 1991. Construction of the project is approximately 30% complete. By the end of 1997, final design of this fast-tracked project will be finished. The maximum placement rate of construction will occur during 1998 and 1999. When the CA/T project is completed in 2004, the elevated Central Artery highway will be gone, replaced by an underground eight-to-ten lane expressway carrying more than 245,000 vehicles a day comfortably. The Ted Williams Tunnel will be carrying more than 90,000 vehicles a day, clearing out congested old tunnels, funneling traffic from the downtown highway, and easing the trip to Logan Airport. The city's air will be cleaner because traffic will be moving instead of standing still, and historic old Boston neighborhoods—like the North End and the waterfront—will be reconnected to the downtown after generations of isolation because of the hulking elevated highway. The end result will rank with the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam as an engineering achievement, giving an economic and mobility boost to Boston and all of New England that will last for generations.

Subject Headings: Project management | Highways and roads | Innovation | Underground construction | Business districts | Tunnels | Highway and road management | Construction management | United States | Boston | Massachusetts | Panama | Central America | New England

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