September 2022

The Urban Economics and Regional Politics of the Freeway Removal Project

Michael Bennon

Highway removal projects are nothing new, at least in concept. The movement to tear down urban highways emerged in the early 1960s, around the same time, and often from the same corners, as the anti-highway-development movement. In more recent decades, many cities have flirted with the idea of highway removal. And some have pulled it off. The Big Dig, Westway, Harbor Drive, Alaskan Way Viaduct, Embarcadero Freeway, Crosstown Expressway, and Park East Freeway are a few very noteworthy examples of freeway removal projects.

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