In Massachusetts, state officials have reportedly floated a proposal that could see a 780-foot pedestrian and cycle bridge constructed across the Mystic River to connect the coming Wynn Boston Harbor Resort in the northern Boston suburb of Everett with the nearby community of Somerville.
According to a report from The Boston Globe newspaper, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has proposed building the new bridge as a way to give future guests visiting the under-construction $2.1 billion waterfront hotel and casino easy access to the Orange Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s subway system.
The newspaper reported that the proposal has so far received support from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation while Wynn Resorts Limited, which is hoping to open its Wynn Boston Harbor Resort by June of next year, has already agreed to provide $250,000 in order to fund an initial feasibility study.
However, The Boston Globe reported that one of the largest stumbling blocks to the proposed bridge becoming a reality is a price-tag that could run to more than $23 million while another around $10 million would be required to build a separate walkway above nearby train tracks on the Somerville side of the Mystic River in order to directly connect the project to the Orange Line’s Assembly Square stop.
The newspaper reported that the proposed bridge is additionally facing a number of design challenges including that at least part of it sits a minimum of 37 feet above the high tide water line in order to allow boats to sail underneath before descending so as to pass below a nearby commuter rail bridge.
But, Chris Gordon, President for the casino operator’s Wynn Design and Development Massachusetts subsidiary, reportedly told The Boston Globe that his firm is ‘positively considering paying’ several million dollars in order to obtain a final design for the bridge and could then contemplate kicking in additional cash to see the project become a reality.
“We like the access to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority [and] to the Assembly [Square] station,” Gordon reportedly told the newspaper. “It works for us but it also works for the whole district, the Somerville side and the Everett side.”
In addition, Amber Christoffersen from the Mystic River Watershed Association advocacy group reportedly told The Boston Globe that she remains confident that the proposed bridge will get built because it has already received the support of three state agencies, which include the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and Wynn Resorts Limited.
“They have an interest in not just having wasted design efforts,” Christoffersen reportedly told the newspaper.