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On the Trans Blog
Historic Framingham Bridge Reopens

On November 30 the Patrick-Murray Administration announced the reopening of the Main Street Bridge over the Sudbury River in Framingham.

Read the Metro West Daily News story at

Check MassDOT Highway projects here.

Cambridge Bridge Public Meeting Set

hold a public information meeting on the proposed rehabilitation of the historic Anderson Memorial Bridge over the Charles River between Cambridge and Boston at the following date and location:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School Auditorium
100 Putnam Avenue, Cambridge

MassDOT representatives will answer questions and gather comments about the project, which will include repairs, upgrade of structural capacity and improved street connections and accessibility.
The work will respect the historic status of the landmark bridge and preserve as many of the original elements as possible. Built in 1915, the Anderson Memorial Bridge is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places as an integral and contributing component of the Charles River Basin Historic District.

To learn more about the project, call 617-626-4985 or e-mail Tracy Osimboni.

To be added to the project email or US Mail distribution lists, call 617-973-8049 or e-mail Stephanie Boundy.

The Road to Reform

Secretary Mullan Leads Governor Budget Forums

MassDOT Secretary & CEO Jeff Mullan will moderate two upcoming Budget Hearings and Forums. The Patrick-Murray Administration organized a total of 19 budget forums across the Commonwealth to ensure that citizens across the state have input in developing the Governor’s budget recommendations.

Secretary Mullan will lead forums next week in the following dates and locations:

Monday, December 7, 6pm – 8pm Springfield City Hall, 36 Court Street, Springfield
Thursday, December 10, 6pm – 8pm Plymouth North High School, 41 Obery Street, Plymouth

The forums and hearings give residents a chance to share their priorities for the budget and allow them to offer suggestions, ask questions and engage with their neighbors. Hearings will allow for individuals to provide written and verbal testimony regarding their specific recommendations while the forums will consist of an open conversation and dialogue about general topics concerning the budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year and FY 2011.

Dates, times, locations and administration hosts for all remaining forums can be found here. If you are not able to attend, you can still be a part of the conversation by contributing online on the Governor's Engagement blog here or by sending a comment to this Transportation blog. To find more information, visit the website or call the Governor's Office at 617-725-4036.

Federal Stimulus Rebuilds Roads, Bridges, Creates Jobs

Governor Patrick and MassDOT are investing federal stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds in road and bridge projects and providing jobs for today and tomorrow in every corner of the Commonwealth.

We are pushing projects out the door as fast as possible to fix broken roads and bridges, spark long term economic development, and improve access to transit, bicycling and walking.

Examples include $15 million to jump-start the Assembly Square project in Somerville that will result in thousands of future jobs tied to a new IKEA store, parks, office space, housing, and a new MBTA Orange line stop, along with more than $30 million invested in Exit 8B in Fall River to support development at the Fall River Executive Park.

Five additional projects moving forward this month have a total value of $84.6 million, including the North Bank pedestrian bridge. By next spring we will have allocated the entire $437.9 million allotment of ARRA highway funding and all our projects will be in the pipeline to construction or already under construction.

The full report is here

Federal Stimulus at Work: North Bank Bridge

The MassDOT Board of Directors this week approved construction of a landmark bicycle-pedestrian connection from East Cambridge to Charlestown City Square and the Boston Harbor Waterfront - the North Bank Bridge

The $25.3 million contract awarded to Barletta Heavy Division, Inc. is a "shovel ready" project funded by federal stimulus dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), creating jobs in the construction trades for ironworkers, electricians, masons, surveyors, and laborers as well as fabricators and engineering professionals. Construction is expected to take slightly more than two years.

The project is part of required mitigation for the impact of the Central Artery/Tunnel project in the New Charles River Basin.

The North Bank Bridge River Walk over the Millers River and the MBTA Commuter Rail tracks will provide an accessible and safe multi-use path connection from Cambridge to Charlestown, with walkway connections from the bridge linking North Point Park and Paul Revere Park. A connection will be provided to the recently constructed Cambridge Multi-Use Trail.

The project completes surface restoration beneath and adjacent to the Zakim Bridge along the north and south banks of the Charles River and offers an enhanced route for residents traveling to the Charlestown waterfront and North End.

The contractor will start mobilizing next week, setting up their field office, securing the site and starting survey and layout. They will begin submitting plans and schedules that require approval before heavy construction can begin.

The job will run 2 full years with final landscaping and site restoration placing scheduled completion at Spring 2012.

Learn more about ARRA federal stimulus transportation projects.

CSX Rail Agreement, South Coast Rail Advance

The Patrick-Murray Administration has announced that the Commonwealth’s comprehensive multi-year rail transportation agreement with CSX Transportation (CSXT), the national freight carrier serving Massachusetts, has been submitted for review with the Federal Surface Transportation Board. Filing with the Surface Transportation Board represents another major milestone towards the first closing of the historic agreement expected in May 2010.

In addition, CSXT has reached initial agreement with the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad, Mass Coastal, to take over freight rail activities on the former CSXT South Coast Lines being purchased by the Commonwealth, an important step in the process of bringing passenger rail service to the South Coast and enhancing local freight rail service to the region.

Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray announced the CSXT agreement in September. The Lieutenant Governor had been working on this agreement since he was Mayor of Worcester and led the negotiations on behalf of the administration with critical support from the Governor, Senator John Kerry and Congressman Jim McGovern. The agreement reached in September overcame the final major hurdle, with CSXT agreeing to help defray the MBTA’s liability insurance cost and pay the deductible on the liability insurance policy if a collision occurs involving a freight train and CSXT is clearly at fault because of willful misconduct.

The agreement with Mass Coastal calls for sale from CSXT to Mass Coastal of the freight easement rights when the MassDOT purchase of the South Coast Lines is finalized in May 2010. An operating agreement between Mass Coastal and the MBTA will govern use of the lines for freight and passenger rail. The freight agreement with Mass Coastal and purchase of the lines are important steps forward in the plan to reconstruct the lines to bring passenger rail service to the South Coast including Fall River and New Bedford, and provide the foundation for sustained freight rail service and economic development within this important region of the Commonwealth.

MBTA: Winter Travel Plans On The T

The MBTA this week announced the wintertime travel guide with information on T winter storm preparations and customer use of public transit during the winter season.

Snow On The Way
At the first indication that snow is on the way, the MBTA has in place a plan that works around the clock to keep the system moving:

  • Trains operate 24 hours a day to prevent rails and overhead electrical wires from icing up. Special heaters are activated to keep rails and switches ice-free.
  • Trains stored outdoors are moved periodically; mechanical systems are kept running; and doors and cab windows are frequently opened and shut to prevent freezing.
  • MBTA Personnel and On-call contractors ensure all MBTA properties are plowed, sanded, salted or shoveled. The MBTA is responsible for snow removal at bus stops that abut MBTA owned property. The MBTA encourages property owners to remove snow at bus stops that abut their property.
  • Snow routes are activated when necessary. The MBTA has identified 31 Snow Routes located on hills, or narrow streets that depending upon the severity of snow are diverted. To get the most up – to-date information on snow routes, customers can visit T’s website ( for T- Alerts, or listen to the local news.

Being Prepared Helps Everyone
The MBTA offers the following winter travel tips:

  • Allow extra time for travel
  • Have CharlieCard ready prior to approaching service
  • If accumulated snow prevents you from determining your space number, use the snow payment envelope placed on your vehicle after your return trip. Place Snow Payment envelope containing the daily fee into the collection box before exiting the lot.
  • If you are dependent on elevator/escalator service please call the service hotline at (617)222-2828 or 800-392-6100 (press 6) to make sure service is available.
  • For customer support call an MBTA Customer Support Representative at: 617-222-3200 or 800-392-6100, TTY 617-222-5146 Monday through Friday 6:30 AM to 8:00 PM and Sat/Sun from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM