Council Committee Votes to Release Rutherford Avenue Money

The City Council Transportation Committee voted late last week to release the $250,000 grant to the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) for the continued design of the Rutherford Avenue/Sullivan Square project – money that the committee had held up for most of February.

City Councilor Lydia Edwards said the money is part of a much larger grant the BTD is using for design – money provided by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC).

The effort, Edwards said, was part of a typical review by the Council, including Councilor Michelle Wu – who chairs the committee – about how the City is proceeding.

“The money was voted to be released,” she said. “It was part of the checks and balances. We want to hear and see where we are going on these things. That’s a good thing…it’s not the City Council playing games, it’s the City vetting and reviewing process.”

The holdup of the money came as quite a surprise by many on Feb. 5 when a routine hearing for the BTD turned into a roadblock. Many people in the Town who favor an all-surface option for the project over any design containing underpasses testified that they wanted more analysis.

That, in the end, was what the hold up was all about – making sure the City’s analysis was correct. While the money might have been released, it’s likely that it won’t be the last vetting process on the issue at City Hall.

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