BOSTON (State House News Service) – Congressman Seth Moulton pitched business leaders Wednesday morning on the North South Rail Link, a transportation project he said has the potential to transform the greater Boston area. “I believe this is the most significant infrastructure project contemplated for the New England area,” Moulton, a freshman congressman from Salem, told a breakfast hosted by the New England Council. “It would be transformative and quite reasonable to do.”
The link would bridge the 1.2 mile gap between North and South stations and would unite the Northeast Corridor between Maine and Virginia, Moulton said. The project would require a 2.8-mile tunnel carrying two tracks through downtown Boston, largely along the same path as the Central Artery. Moulton said the project would take at least 55,000 cars off the road and would make it easier for people who work in Boston to live outside the city and get to or from work with less congestion.
For those worried that the North South Rail Link would turn into another Big Dig, Moulton said the project “could not be more different” than the expensive 1990s highway tunnel project. The link has been a pet cause of former Gov. Michael Dukakis, who has been working with others over the past two years to convince Gov. Charlie Baker of the project’s merits and the importance of releasing funds to update a feasibility study for the link. The rail link has lots of supporters but the Baker administration is not among them and state transportation officials are focused on other priorities, primarily improving service within the existing MBTA system.