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Fort Point residents meet with Boston officials about proposed IndyCar race

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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BOSTON - Thousands of Boston residents are set to face major construction and traffic issues ahead of the Boston IndyCar Grand Prix race, planned for Labor Day weekend.

FOX25 had the only camera at a private meeting Tuesday night between residents of the Fort Point Neighborhood Association and the organizers of the Boston Grand Prix.

Although concrete barriers for the race will begin arriving as early as Wednesday, residents told FOX25 it was the first time they heard any details about the race's effects on the neighborhood.

"We feel like we are so close to it, yet we are really not sure how it's going to function, how it's going to impact the community," resident Joe Rogers said.

Organizers told residents they had planned for three months of nighttime construction between May and July to prepare and resurface roads in Fort Point and Seaport for the weight and speed of the IndyCars.

Additionally, organizers said it would take another week after the event to remove the barriers and replace the medians that will be removed to make the 2.2 mile track.

A first look at traffic plans for the weekend revealed major detours along I-93 for all commuters, with exits closed and most traffic being diverted onto A Street, a smaller residential street that many residents complained was already too congested.

"I think they feel this race was plopped down in their lap with no say about it, with no input, and that it was basically a done deal," said attorney Dave Lurie, who represents a coalition of residents who are against the Boston Grand Prix.

At the meeting, others expressed concerns about noise levels and crowd control.

Organizers said they will begin to have monthly public meetings and will work with residential buildings and condo associations to address the concerns.

Some local business owners told FOX25 even with the traffic and construction headaches, they welcomed an opportunity for an economic boost on a holiday weekend that is normally quiet in the city.

"I think it's a great opportunity," said fashion designer Imani McFarlane. "They seem like they pretty much got things under control, and I'm looking forward to it."

Boston Grand Prix will host its next public meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

For more information visit the IndyCar Boston website.