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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
MassDOT Crews Warm to the Task

MassDOT maintenance crews from Weston and Charlton worked together this week to replace boilers at the I-90 Plaza 12 in Framingham.

Green Line Extension Field Work Planned

Over the next six months, contractors for MassDOT will perform field work in support of the MBTA Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford.

Fore River Bridge Public Hearing

A public hearing for the Fore River Bridge Replacement Project has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 24.

The Road to Reform

All Fed Stimulus Highway Funds Obligated

Governor Deval Patrick announced that as of last Saturday the Commonwealth will have obligated its entire $437.9 million allotment of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) highway funding nearly a month ahead of the federally required deadline of March 2, 2010.

The 84 ARRA highway projects will create jobs in every corner of the state by repairing broken roads, supporting long-term economic development and creating more sustainable communities. In addition to critical road repairs like the $19.9 million in safety improvements to Route 2 in Orange, a record $58 million of highway funds were transferred to support critical public transit improvements, including $3.5 million for floating slab repair work on the MBTAís Red Line, accessibility enhancements to the Wedgemere Commuter Rail station, and a new regional transit center and rail station in Greenfield.

"This strategic use of federal stimulus funds is putting Massachusetts residents to work today while ensuring we have a strong economic future for our children," said Governor Deval Patrick. "From the start, we have been aggressively leveraging stimulus funds in every corner of the Commonwealth, and this announcement again demonstrates our commitment to meet or exceed every deadline for using recovery money put forth by the federal government."

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has focused on moving ARRA projects to construction faster than ever before by reducing the average time from advertisement to construction from 120 days to 46. MassDOT partnered with the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development to strategically invest ARRA funds in projects that would create jobs today and in the future by helping to spark long-awaited economic development projects. In Somerville, for example, $12.2 million will be invested in transportation improvements to the Assembly Square project that will create thousands of future jobs. Learn more here.

"I want to thank the team of dedicated employees at MassDOT and the Massachusetts Federal Highway Administration Division office who have all worked extremely hard to help us meet or exceed every ARRA deadline," said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Jeff Mullan. "These ARRA projects illustrate our strategic approach to prioritizing projects that spur private sector development, promote long-term job growth and balance the needs of all transportation users."

Recent ARRA highway projects advertised by MassDOT include:
  • $19.9 million in safety improvements and upgrades along Route 2 in Orange.
  • $3.3 million resurfacing project for Route 114 in Danvers and Peabody;
  • $7.9 million reconstruction of a section of Nonantum Road in Boston, Watertown and Newton ($7.9 million);
  • $4 million to construct the Minuteman Bikepath Connector project in Arlington and Somerville;
  • $12.3 million for resurfacing of Route 9 in Framingham and Natick;
  • $2.1 million for Phase II of the Route 152 reconstruction project in Attleboro;
  • $2.7 million for resurfacing of Barker and Valentine roads in Pittsfield;
  • $1 million for Quincy Center Concourse improvements, including building demolition. The project complements the $8.1 million ARRA project announced last month to reconstruct Revere Road as part of the Quincy Concourse project;
  • $1.6 million to resurface Washington Street in Somerville;
  • $1.7 million for statewide fiber-optics enhancement to the Massachusetts Turnpike.

In December, the Patrick-Murray Administration unveiled a new, automatically-updated interactive web-based map with the latest information about all federal stimulus transportation projects.


RMV Safety First: Teen Video Contest

MassDOT RMV Registrar Rachel Kaprielian joined Mary Elizabeth Heffernan, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), to kick off the 2010 "Dance. Don't Chance" statewide teen safe driving video contest.

The "Dance. Don't Chance" video contest by EOPSS in partnership with the RMV aims to make the prom/graduation season safer.

Teens write, produce and submit 60-second video on safe driving and avoiding underage drinking, which can be used to help keep other teens in Massachusetts safer during prom/graduation season and year-round.

The winning video is posted on YouTube. The winning school receives a Dream Prom package provided by contest sponsors.

Learn more about the contest.


MBTA Customer Service: Elevators, Escalators

Customer service and accessibility for customers of all abilities are top priorities at the MBTA. To date in 2010, the T reports its systemwide elevators and escalators are working properly at extremely high levels.

The T's 136 elevators are working at the 99.78% level in 2010, including at least five days in which all 100% of the elevators were working all day without interruption. So far this year, MBTA escalators have functioned properly at the 98.67% level.

Learn more about the MBTA commitment to accessible public transportation.


MassDOT State Traffic Engineer Honored

MassDOT is fortunate to have so many employees who are passionate about their work and about transportation. State Traffic Engineer Neil Boudreau is among them, and his passion and professionalism have not gone unnoticed. Neil has been chosen as the 2009 Transportation Engineer of the Year for the New England Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (NEITE).

The award is given to transportation engineers who have shown exceptional technical accomplishments or development of new concepts.

Boudreau joined what was then MassHighway in 1995. His Traffic Engineering Section is responsible for all traffic engineering and safety issues, including traffic signal and speed limit regulation, road safety audits and technical review of MassDOT construction and maintenance projects.

"I am passionate about safety," said Boudreau. "It is today and has always been a priority here at MassDOT, and we must continue to find new approaches that will enhance safety for all transportation users. I am honored by the award, but I have to share the praise with our wonderful safety staff. They are extremely hard workers and dedicated to the cause."

Learn more about MassDOT's Traffic Engineering Section.


MBCR Suicide Prevention Honors

The Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention honored Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR) General Manager Richard A. Davey for his lead role in creating the Massachusetts Transportation Suicide Prevention Initiative, a partnership between MBCR, the MBTA and Samaritans, a Boston-based suicide prevention and education agency.

Davey, right, is joined at the Statehouse by John Cole, owner of Cole Creative, which designed the public awareness ads in stations.

The program, which seeks to prevent suicides on the railroad right of way, has been credited with saving at least two lives.

MBCR and the MBTA provide free space to Samaritans to advertise the groupís suicide prevention services at commuter rail and subway stations. Samaritans provides counseling services, including a 24-hour confidential hot line, to conductors and engineers who have witnessed a suicide and conducts workshops with new rail engineers who are likely to experience a suicide while operating a train.


MassDOT Board March Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, March 3, 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 Storms: Plan Ahead, Use Public Transportation

MassDOT encourages drivers to plan ahead and drive safely and commuters to use public transportation if possible during winter storms.

MassDOT encourages driving commuters to leave plenty of time for travel in order to help keep the roads clear for local plowing crews.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: MassDOT encourages residents to use public transportation whenever possible. Visit MBTA on the web. Locate Regional Transit Authorities here.

MassDOT winter driving tips are online.

If you must drive during a storm, prior to departure view MassDOTís live online traffic cameras here.