The 62nd World Science Fiction Convention

  • Sept. 2-6, 2004
  • Boston, MA

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April 04, 2003

First Tunnel opens on the Big Dig!

Last weekend the northbound tube of the Big Dig opened to traffic and half the elevated Central Artery was shut down.

The new tunnel is wide and well-lit and is a joy to drive. North of downtown, it climbs up out of the ground to cross the Charles and Mystic rivers on the really spiffy new Bunker Hill bridge. Now that the northbound tube is open, the elevated southbound traffic will be moved so that the southbound tube can be finished and connected in.

The point to this all is to relieve the awful traffic jams on the Central Artery and roads leading into it. There was irony aplenty, though, when on opening day (a Sunday yet!) traffic in the new tunnel was down to 5 miles per hour due to all the sightseers. Many tens of thousands of people — more than a normal day's rush hour — hopped in their cars and headed off to drive the tunnel.

There are two phases left to completion of the Big Dig:

Phase 3: Opening the Central Artery Tunnel southbound tube (due in early 2004)

Phase 4: Removal of the old roadway and conversion to parklands (due in 2005)

By the time Noreascon 4 rolls around, the roads will be complete and open and the old roadway largely removed, but the parkland will not yet be ready, though -- unless they rush things in time for the the Democratic National Convention earlier in the summer.