Reconstruction work will start on Monday on the hazardous intersection of Morrissey and Bianculli boulevards at the entrance to UMass Boston that has long been despised by motorists and pedestrians alike.
The new setup will feature two left-turning lanes and two southbound lanes, instead of the current three left-turning lanes that head into the UMass Boston campus — leaving just one legal southbound lane. DCR plans to remove a traffic light island and replace it with a traffic light that stretches out over the roadway. The island will be removed while an “all stop” sign for pedestrians will stay, activated through the new traffic light.
The improvements, which will cost $130,000, will mean construction for a few weeks on the Patten’s Cove side of Morrissey Boulevard, according to the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which oversees the roadway. The agency is seeking to improve southbound traffic.
“The modification to traffic flow at this location and the improvements we are making will go a long way toward enhancing use of this roadway by commuters and pedestrians,” Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Jack Murray said in a statement.
Members of the Dorchester delegation at the State House, including former state Sen. Jack Hart, his successor, Linda Dorcena Forry, and state Rep. Marty Walsh, have been pushing for the project, which will be paid for through existing contracts with Siemens Industries and D&R Paving in Melrose.
The intersection has been a source of frustration for elected officials and residents, and led to one Savin Hill resident putting on YouTube last year a video of motorists who ignore the current configuration.
“When I press the button, I will get a walk light, but the way in which the road is set up, the majority of the cars, which are supposed to be turning into UMass Boston, go straight when I’m trying to cross that section of the street with my walk light,” the resident, Heidi Moesinger, wrote in a letter to the Reporter at the time.