With GLX a wrap, Dalton eyes Hudson River tunnel
John Dalton, the man who steered the very challenging Green Line extension to the finish line in Boston, is taking his talents to New York City and one of the biggest and most important infrastructure projects in the country.
Dalton has been named senior project director for the Gateway Trans-Hudson Partnership, which seeks to build a new 10-mile, two-track tunnel from Penn Station in Manhattan to Newark, New Jersey, underneath the Hudson River. The project also calls for refurbishing the existing old and storm-damaged tunnel that already runs under the river.
The 10-mile stretch is currently the most vulnerable section of the rail corridor that runs from Boston to Washington, DC, carrying roughly 200,000 Amtrak and New Jersey Transit passengers a day. “It is really kind of a choke point for Amtrak,” Dalton said.
T officials had long hoped they could keep Dalton at the transit authority. He was recruited from a job in Chicago at a time when there was great skepticism about the T’s ability to complete large projects. The cost of extending the Green Line from Lechmere to Somerville and Medford had ballooned from $2 billion to more than $3 billion and there was talk of just canceling the project. Instead, the project was pared back to $2.3 billion, with Somerville and Cambridge stepping forward to chip in $70 million.
Dalton made no secret of his desire to stay in Massachusetts, but none of the big projects on the horizon (the I-90 Allston project, the Cape Cod bridges, or the Red-Blue subway connector) were anywhere near ready to go. So Dalton looked elsewhere, and ended up as a senior vice president at STV, a professional services firm that plans, designs, and manages infrastructure projects across North America.
His title is senior project director on the Gateway project, leading a team of consultants building the new Hudson tunnel. In a telephone interview, he was plotting out the staging of the roughly $16 billion project and explaining how a tunnel under the Hudson would get built. (He sounded a lot like US Rep. Seth Moulton, who has argued that building a tunnel rail link connecting North and South stations in Boston would be no big deal.)
Dalton said he intends to continue living in the Boston area, commuting to New York for the new job, while his son finishes high school.
“As far as the project goes, a truly game-changing project important to this part of the country, I couldn’t say no,” he said. “It’s what I do.”
– State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, whose office oversees the lottery, said the new $50 scratch ticket cost $2.8 million to develop and will generate $215 million in new local aid funding. “I would take those odds,” she said of the return on the investment.
– Les Bernal, a Lawrence resident who heads the national organization Stop Predatory Gambling, says the lottery is shameful. “What state governments like Massachusetts are doing is turning small earners who could be small savers into habitual bettors,” said Bernal. “They’ve created an incredible, money-losing gambling habit in hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts citizens, keeping people in poverty.” Read more.
Patience needed: MBTA officials urge riders to be patient, saying it will be at least a year before change is evident at the transit authority. Read more.
FROM AROUND THE WEB
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The Healey administration’s pick to be the new housing secretary gets mixed grades for his efforts as city manager in Worcester. (Boston Globe)
The sudden closure of Compass Medical, a physician group serving 70,000 patients in Southeastern Mass., leaves patients scrambling for care. (Boston Globe)
The Senate made quick work of the debt limit bill, passing it 63-36. It now goes to President Biden for his signature. (New York Times)
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A proposed “book removal policy” in Ludlow schools has revived a years-long debate in the town about what books are appropriate for school-aged children. (MassLive)
Vineyard Wind and a longshoremen’s union local reached an agreement ending a weeklong strike that held up the unloading of the first vessel delivering wind turbine parts to the Port of New Bedford. (New Bedford Light)
A mother from Whitman is sentenced to up to four years in jail for failing to seek medical help for her daughter, who eventually died. The mother had six other children. (Associated Press)A federal lawsuit filed this week claims Worcester police misconduct, including use of excessive force, during the June 1, 2020, protests after the death of George Floyd. The dozen plaintiffs argue that police used heavy-handed tactics and deployed munitions in the diverse Main South neighborhood that they say wouldn’t have been used in wealthier areas. (Worcester Telegram)