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Massachusetts DOT Highlights Operational and Safety Improvements at Route 128/Interstate 95 Interchange Ramp and Roadways

WALTHAM — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in conjunction with Boston Properties announces that new operational and safety improvement modifications have been implemented at the Route 128/Interstate 95 Interchange 43A (Old Exit 27A)/Third Avenue ramp in Waltham. The purpose of this transportation improvement project was to redesign the heavily traveled interchanges and the immediately surrounding area to improve existing traffic flow operations, to enhance safety for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and to provide improved access for the future mixed-use development of up to 1.85 million square feet located within the adjacent CityPoint and 1265 Main developments.

"MassDOT is proud to partner with Boston Properties to complete the improvements and modifications to the Interstate 95 interchange," said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “This redesign will help enhance safe and accessible traffic flow for a well-traveled interchange.”

The project consists of several roadway improvements and the reconstruction of the collector distributor road along Interstate 95 northbound between exits 43A and 43B, the Interstate 95 northbound on-ramps and off-ramps for exit 43A, and sections of Third Avenue, Winter Street, Totten Pond Road, and Prospect Hill Lane. In addition, the existing traffic signal at the intersection of Winter Street/Totten Pond Road and Third Avenue/Wyman Street was upgraded, and a new signal was installed at the newly created intersection of Third Avenue at Prospect Hill Lane/I-95 northbound exit 43A ramps. These improvements have created a more streamlined experience for residents and commuters and a direct connection from CityPoint to and from I-95 northbound.

The Public-Private Partnership (P3) between MassDOT and Boston Properties was instrumental in facilitating the development of this transportation improvement project. Boston Properties acquired the services of Vanasse Hangen and Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) for planning, permitting, and transportation engineering and D.W. White Construction as the contractor. VHB successfully led the permitting process to obtain the necessary federal, state, and local permits and approvals for the project to move forward and provided transportation analysis while simultaneously developing conceptual and final design plans that received expedited review and approval through the MassDOT permit process.

D.W. White’s assistance throughout the design and permitting phase provided insight on the construction staging, task durations, and value engineering items. The accelerated permitting process allowed D.W. White to begin certain construction activities earlier than a traditional construction project, and the collaboration between MassDOT, the developer, designers, and contractors resulted in the project being completed ahead of schedule. The improvements were funded by a consortium of private abutters, led by Boston Properties and J & Company.

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"This project is an excellent example of public/private project delivery and good government practices," said MassDOT Undersecretary and Chief Strategy Officer Scott Bosworth. "We are proud of our partnership with the City of Waltham and Boston Properties on the project."

The interchange modification project marks the second of four phases of privately funded transportation improvements being considered in this area of Waltham to support growth opportunities for businesses at CityPoint (Prospect Hill Executive Office Park), 1265 Main Street, and properties along the Winter Street corridor. Additional final phases of work have not been fully defined at this time, but may include the replacement of the Main Street bridge (Route 117) over I-95 and supporting improvements to Main Street, construction of a new roadway (the Green Street Connector) between Main Street and the Route 20 rotary, and improvements to the Route 20 rotary at I-95 Interchange 41 (Old Exit 26), expected to be delivered in 2023/2024.

"We're thrilled to announce the completion of the interchange modification project, a major milestone in our long-term vision to improve transportation and accessibility for those who live in or commute to and from Waltham. We thank the City of Waltham and the local community for their support during the planning and permitting process and look forward to moving into the next phase of improvements," said Bryan Koop, Executive Vice President of Boston Properties.

Boston Properties is the largest publicly held developer and owner of Class A office properties in the United States, concentrated in five markets: Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The company’s portfolio totals 51.2 million square feet and 196 properties, including seven properties under construction/redevelopment.

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