Wynn Resorts faces another hurdle as Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has urged state environmental officials to deny a permit for Wynn’s $1.7b casino project at the Everett waterfront.
Healey sent a 15-page letter to Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton on Friday, stating that Wynn should not get a permit until it provides a “long-term traffic solution” to address the projected traffic that will impact the surrounding areas once the its casino-resort is launched.
“If the casino is built without a long term plan in place for Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square, we simply may never solve the traffic problem,” said Healey. “This dangerous and congested set of roadways may be unfamiliar to many state residents, but it serves as a major regional transit hub and access point.”
Wynn needs the state certificate to break ground on the project, which would be Massachusetts’ largest casino project and one of the largest private developments in the state when it opens in 2018. Wynn has allotted more than $300m for transportation and road infrastructure improvements with Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).
Beaton is expected to announce his decision whether Wynn will be issued the Environmental Policy Act certificate on Friday, August 28. Although the casino operator was awarded a gaming license by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, it cannot commence construction without the important permit.
Wynn, reacting to Healey, said in a statement on Friday that the environmental process “requires that we mitigate our traffic impacts, not [to] solve decades-long traffic issues which pre-date our project. We expect the fair treatment afforded any other developer.”
Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver also said that Wynn is the “the only project which has ever fully mitigated its traffic impact in Sullivan Square” and if the attorney general’s proposal to halt the project would effectively and permanently terminate any developments that have any impact on Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue.