Now that the Big Dig is done (essentially), I figured I'd go check it out. As a voter who lives a generous 100 miles from Boston
, the CA/T has been sapping up my tax dollars for the two years that I've been paying them, so I was obligated to get my money's worth.
The I-93 Tunnel: Northbound (the way that counts): The tunnel is disturbingly well-lit. That's the first thing that you notice, because it's like driving through a high school cafeteria. This can be pretty deadly coming out of the tunnel at night, because the light shift is a little drastic.
Also, the traffic is still terrible, and I drove it at 2:15 PM and 9:45 PM, on weekdays. The tunnel is, the majority of the time, still only three lanes plus merges, which means that it's not really all that much better than the elevated. This was bad. But there are some high points...
Leonard P. Zakim Bridge: The cable-stayed bridge is a-freakin'-mazing. Even though the infrastructure on both sides of it is somewhat lacking, the view of downtown and the Fleet Center is exceptional and the bridge itself is one of the best pieces of architectural design I've seen in years. The interplay of the cables defies description. Drive it.
Storrow Drive Reconstruction: The connector from Storrow to the highway is currently routed through a traffic light, which is miserable and backs traffic up on Storrow Drive for miles. But the repairs are nice, and the traffic light is supposedly going away.
Storrow Drive Connector Bridge: This is pretty unremarkable. It's just a bridge.
Ted Williams Tunnel / Massachusetts Turnpike Expansion: The first piece of the project has been done for awhile, but it's easily the best chunk of highway that they've built. The tunnel is well past capacity and easy to drive in, unlike the revamped South Station tunnel and the harshly curved Artery tunnel.
All in all? I wish I hadn't paid for it, but it's still pretty impressive. Once the parks go up on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, I suspect that I'll be a lot happier. Traffic keeps flowing, and I guess that's what matters for now.