Starts & Stops

Talks continue on future of Bowker Overpass

The Bowker Overpass, which connects Boylston Street with Storrow Drive.
The Bowker Overpass, which connects Boylston Street with Storrow Drive.Credit: Google Maps

When it comes to transportation controversies, few have proven more contentious in the Boston area than debates over the future of overpasses.

There’s Somerville’s McCarthy Overpass, where residents have butted heads over plans to remove the highway-like bridge and bring the roadway level with the surrounding neighborhood. The same goes for Jamaica Plain’s Casey Overpass, which is slated to become an arborway at street level.

Now, debate is heating up over the Bowker Overpass in the Back Bay.

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Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials are set to meet with Back Bay residents and businesses Wednesday night to talk about the project to rebuild the bridge that connects Boylston Street with Storrow Drive. Some transportation advocacy groups are pushing for MassDOT to demolish the overpass and divert the traffic through ground-level streets in order to allow for the restoration of Charlesgate Park, a historic part of the Emerald Necklace that is now shrouded by the bridge.

The meeting will take place at Boston Public Library in conference rooms 2 and 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“The primary purpose of this meeting will be to review additional analysis of the existing usage of the Bowker Overpass,” MassDOT’s statement says, “and the potential impacts if the existing Bowker Overpass were closed to traffic.”

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