McGrath will soon lose the overpass!

McGrath will soon lose the overpass!

MassDOT’s project to remove the overpass from McGrath Highway and reconstruct the road as a multimodal boulevard is finally rolling. The overpass removal, along with an entirely new street design between Broadway in Somerville and Third Street in Cambridge will result in an at-grade urban boulevard approximately 1.5 miles long.

On the new boulevard, the number of car lanes will be reduced to two in each direction, and will include protected pedestrian and bicycle facilities, medians with trees, and a connection to the Somerville Community Path. Best of all, the new boulevard will physically reconnect the neghborhoods of Somerville!

SASS is spearheading a coalition of local advocacy groups to provide cohesive feedback on the early design. This early design still takes up the full footprint of the current highway, and still prioritizes cars. We think that better use can be made of this space, such as:

  • More space for transit, bicycles, and pedestrians: space should be allocated for future priority bus lanes and safe and spacious infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Affordable Housing: Even including the above, there is still plenty of room to shrink the width of the road and return land to the City of Somerville, which could be used as a site for desperately needed affordable housing.
  • Usable, safe, open space: Instead of a median strip of trees between the cars that will benefit basically nobody, we should create accessible and dedicated open space on the outer edges of the roadway. This could be a linear park, pocket parks, community gardens, and more.

MassDOT says that car volume on McGrath has dropped by a third since 2011

The McGrath Boulevard project will cost approximately $150M, paid with state and federal funding that has programmed into MassDOT’s fiscal year 2027 budget. Construction won’t start until 2028. Meanwhile, MassDOT has put other parts of McGrath on a “road diet” by reducing the number of lanes in some sections, with plans to install protected bike lanes in the near future.

MassDOT is accepting feedback on the McGrath Boulevard design until July, 2024. Please email your comments, ideas, and questions to

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