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Official Tweeting from Mass. Dept of Transportation (MassDOT). Tweets ending in JM from MassDOT Secretary/CEO Jeffrey Mullan

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On the Trans Blog
Blandford Wind Turbine Moves Forward

The Patrick-Murray Administration and MassDOT have approved installation of a 1.5 megawatt wind turbine on state-owned land adjacent to the MassDOT Blandford Service Area in western Massachusetts. Solaya Renewable Energy of Woburn will construct the nearly 400-foot-tall turbine along with a kiosk at the Service Area to provide motorists information about the highly-visible turbine and its operation.

Lowell I-495 Accelerated Bridge Project Progress

The beginning of 2010 brings major progress in the $36.9 million reconstruction of both the northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 495 in Lowell, funded as part of the Patrick Administration's historic $3 billion, eight-year Accelerated Bridge Program. The innovative "design-build" project is repairing six bridges- two over the Concord River, seen at left, two over the Boston & Maine and MBTA railroad, and two crossing Woburn Street.

MassDOT Interactive Map Tracks Federal Stimulus Projects

The MassDOT website offers a new, automatically-updated interactive web-based map that allows the public to view the latest information about all federal stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) transportation projects.

Whittier Bridge/I-95 Public Meeting Set

MassDOT has scheduled a public information meeting for the Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project for the following date, time, and place.

The Road to Reform

Tobin Bridge Joins MassDOT

The new year of 2010 and the 3rd month for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, MassDOT, began with another historic step forward, as the Maurice J. Tobin Memorial Bridge officially joined MassDOT, at midnight on January 1, as required by the historic transportation reform legislation signed by Governor Patrick.

The Massachusetts Port Authority Board in November voted to transfer ownership of the Tobin Bridge to MassDOT.

Bridge Director Mary Jane O'Meara and staff worked closely with the MassDOT Highway Division during the second half of 2009 to integrate the Tobin Bridge into the state highway system.

Service continues uninterrupted for residents and visitors who travel over the Tobin paying cash tolls or using FAST LANE or E-ZPASS transponders. Customers will continue to be able to view Tobin and I-90 MassPike FAST LANE toll charges conveniently online at www.mass.gov/fastlane.

On November 1, 2009, four camera feeds from the Tobin Bridge were added to the MassDOT Traffic Camera website at www.mass.gov/511/cameras where commuters and visitors can view real-time traffic feeds from Highway Division cameras on key routes throughout Massachusetts.

Learn more about MassDOT and transportation reform.


MBTA: Commuter Rail "Real-Time Arrival" Countdown

The MBTA this week announced several major service improvements for commuter rail customers as it exercised the final option on the contract with MBCR to operate the system through July 1, 2013, with a new contract procurement process to begin in 2012.

The customer improvements began Thursday morning with the launch of a new real-time passenger information system on the Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, and Middleboro/Lakeville Lines. For the first time ever, customers on the train platforms will be provided with ‘real time’ arrival information made possible by recently installed Global Position Satellite equipment on each train. Displayed in a countdown format on electronic message boards, the information will provide minute-accurate train arrival times to waiting customers.

The new passenger information system will be introduced next week on the Worcester/Framingham and Lowell lines. By mid-February, all 13 commuter rail lines will be provided with ‘next train’ arrival information.

MBTA is also preparing to launch a communications system to allow commuter rail customers to get the same real-time information on their radios. By tuning to a specific frequency on a radio’s AM band, customers in the parking lots can stay in their automobiles until the train’s arrival is nearing. Before the end of the January, this new customer service initiative will be available at the Anderson Regional Transportation Center in Woburn. In coming weeks, the radio system will be installed at all commuter rail stations with 50 or more parking spaces.

MassDOT and the MBTA also announced that by the end of the summer the commuter rail system’s very popular WiFi service will be expanded to every train on every line, making the MBTA the only commuter rail operator in the country to offer WiFi service on every passenger coach of every train. Visit the MBTA website to learn more.


South Coast Rail: Fall River Station Workshop

MassDOT with the City of Fall River and the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District will host a Fall River Depot Station Area Workshop to present a station concept plan. The Workshop is scheduled for:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 5:00-7:00 PM
Water Street Cafe, 36 Water Street, Fall River

The South Coast Rail project proposes a new train station and intermodal center at Route 79 and Davol Street. The new station will anchor redevelopment in the surrounding neighborhood. The event sponsors invite residents, business owners and officials to discuss concepts for the future revitalization of the neighborhood. Presentation of the concept plan will occur at 5:30, followed by discussion and public input.

Check out the South Coast Rail website for more information on the project and the Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan. For more details on the event, contact South Coast Rail Project Director Kristina Egan, 617-973-7314.


MBTA Board Honors Lifesaver

The MassDOT Board of Directors at its regular monthly meeting on January 6 recognized MBTA Transit Police Sergeant Brian Carey for his recent lifesaving efforts at Back Bay Station.

On December 16th, Sgt. Carey responded to a call of a man threatening to harm himself on the Orange Line's electrified third rail. Sgt. Carey found a distraught man on the tracks and immediately engaged him in conversation to keep him away from the third rail, while others worked to clear the platform and shut off power to the rail.

With the power off, Sgt. Carey convinced the man to leave the track area unharmed.

Secretary Mullan today said, "The swift action of Sergeant Carey and the training he received over his 20 years of service on the force prevented what could have been a terrible tragedy."

Chairman Jenkins, Secretary Mullan, and MBTA Acting General Manager William Mitchell thanked Sgt. Carey for his outstanding work in presenting him with a commendation plaque.


MassDOT Board 2010 Public Meeting Schedule

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors holds its next public business meeting of 2010 on Wednesday, February 10, in the MBTA Board Room, Boston. During 2010, meetings will be held in Springfield, Lowell, and Brockton, along with Boston. All meetings are open to the public.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.


Winter Driving Tips

More than 4,000 MassDOT snow and ice crews have successfully cleared state roadways following two major winter snowstorms in December. Please read MassDOT’s winter driving tips.

Prior to departure, residents and visitors are encourage to check out our online traffic cameras for live conditions on major roadways.

MassDOT will post messages regarding storm events on variable message boards along the highway and on MassDOT's twitter page.