Despite the City of Boston’s cold reception of Wynn Everett when it comes to negotiating mitigation agreements and other such things, apparently working out traffic problems with Wynn has not been so taboo – including very detailed discussions of traffic fixes in Sullivan Square.
Bob DeSalvio, vice president of development for Wynn Everett, told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) last Thursday that they have met with the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) seven times since Nov. 2014.
“We have continued to consult with the BTD regarding traffic and transit issues relevant to Boston, meeting with them seven times since November of 2014, with the last meeting held on January 26,” he said.
In an interview with the newspaper in early January, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and several key staff members did acknowledge that they have had ongoing meetings with Wynn regarding traffic.
DeSalvio said meetings have included the BTD, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) and the MBTA.
“In the course of those meetings, BTD requested additional analysis which has been completed including additional traffic counts, which were conducted in December, along Broadway/Alford Street on Route 99 and in Sullivan Square, to ensure that the completion of the Alford Street Bridge and the Tobin Bridge projects did not materially affect traffic,” DeSalvio said. “In addition, at the request of BTD, we completed a sensitivity analysis of transit ridership to ascertain the impacts of projected transit usage on the road network and reanalyzed anticipated parking utilization to confirm the validity of those estimates, including by comparison to other identified casinos.”
DeSalvio also disclosed that BTD has had detailed discussions over the past few months regarding the lynchpin in the project – and a contentious point in Charlestown and Everett – Sullivan Square redesign.
“There was also extensive consultation with BTD regarding our plans to mitigate the impacts of the project on Sullivan Square,” DeSalvio said. “A number of BTD’s requested modifications to that plan were incorporated, including the installation of conduit from Sullivan Square to Austin Street to tie that part of the traffic signal network into BTD’s command center, adjustments to lane geometry along Route 99, and a reconfiguration of Sullivan Square roads to better integrate the MBTA’s bus operations at Sullivan Square Station with general traffic.
“We will continue to meet with BTD as the design of the project, including the Sullivan Square mitigation, progresses,” he continued.
It was believed that Boston had largely withdrawn from the casino process after a rocky relationship developed last year, which evolved into a full-blown lawsuit filed against the MGC in January for its awarding of the license to Wynn.
Seth Daniel can be reached at [email protected]