MassDOT has moved ahead with a $40M project to paint and repair the Tobin Bridge. The Tobin Bridge a former toll revenue cash cow for Massport at $80M/yr, is in dire need of this work but the north shore residents are paying a heavy price for this work in tolls and traffic delays. The Tobin Bridge 75K average daily traffic is about 40% of the traffic load that I-93 gets north of the Zakim Bridge, but the I-93 corridor had the benefit of the award winning 93-Fast-14 project while north shore commuters get the old school lane restriction approach.
This approach for the Tobin work is a galling when you consider Tobin commuters pay a toll for this facility while the I-93 approach to the city is a free ride. The 7:00 AM early commute which had no toll backups now has a back up extending to RT 16 in Revere while adding 20 plus minutes of congestion delay. The 8:00 Am commute is a complete disaster pushing traffic well north of Saugus.
The north shore Tobin Toll Payers deserve a better plan. The current Tobin lane restrictions should be removed until MassDOT can come up with a with a 93-Fast-14 approach to the Tobin project. Portable blast and coat containment measures can be devised for this project; all it takes is a little money, the will to do it and innovation.