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On the Trans Blog
Accelerated Bridge Program: Public Meetings Set

Posted by Shoukry Elnahal, Director, Accelerated Bridge Program

Later this month, MassDOT’s Accelerated Bridge Program will be holding two public information meetings for Boston bridge replacement projects.

RMV Promotes Motorcycle Safety

Governor Patrick has proclaimed a state motorcycle safety period from March 22 through April 30. Learn more about Massachusetts Motorcycle Rider Education and program locations.

Neponset River Bridge Public Meetings Set

MassDOT has scheduled two public meetings to discuss the construction plans and anticipated traffic impacts for the rehabilitation of the Neponset River Bridge, which serves as a major artery between Quincy and Boston.

MassDOT "Friends of Haiti"

The MassDOT employee "Friends of Haiti" team this month collected emergency kits needed by the residents of Haiti ravaged by the earthquake.

A New "Approach" for MassDOT Aeronautics

Posted by Christopher Willenborg, MassDOT Aeronautics Division Administrator

I am pleased to introduce you to "On the Approach," a new newsletter by the MassDOT Aeronautics Division that helps us keep in touch with the Massachusetts aeronautics community and tell the story of the people behind general aviation in the Commonwealth. The newsletter will offer information about current events and technical and regulatory issues of interest to our aeronautics constituents, along with a section called "Just Plane Folks" that tells the story of someone making a difference. The first edition of "Just Plane Folks" introduces us to Brian Barnes, manager of Westfield-Barnes Municipal Airport. Please check out this new bimonthly newsletter on the web.

Bay State Bike Week: May 17-21

We're hoping you join us this May 17th to 21st for Bay State Bike Week, a week when Massachusetts will celebrates bicycle transportation!

The Road to Reform

MassDOT Responds to Flood

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation and MBTA responded on multiple fronts this week to maintain services, assist in opening state roadways, and fill potholes and address roadway surface problems caused by this week’s heavy rains, wind, and flooding. Governor Deval Patrick praised the rapid response and hard work under challenging conditions. MassDOT also assisted cities and Towns and provided ongoing information for commuters and all users of Commonwealth roads, bridges, and transit.

MassDOT crews worked across the flood-affected areas seen above to divert flood waters along I-93

MBTA maintenance crews, left, responded with around the clock work to repair a huge washout in Newton that closed the Green Line D branch. Work crews pumped water for the entire first night. Fill material was then loaded into the hole, and an 18" concrete drain pipe was installed on the north side of the tracks. Finally, concrete blocks were installed to build a retaining wall. Due to the remarkable work of the crew, Green Line service was restored Friday afternoon in time for the evening commute, more than two days earlier than first thought.

MassDOT kept residents and commuters informed with regular alerts providing the latest road closure and MBTA service information to the media and on the MassDOT blog, MassDOT’s twitter feed and MBTA updates on

Norwood Airport Flooding

MassDOT Aeronautics Division Administrator Chris Willenborg toured Norwood Memorial Airport Tuesday. As seen above, the airport runway and taxiway system were under up to two feet of water as of late Tuesday. The Airport is closed to fixed wing aircraft. The airport manager believes one runway will be able to open by early next week. MassDOT's Aeronautics Division will assist the airport early next week to open the runway and has contacted the Federal Aviation Administration for assistance. Learn more about MassDOT Aeronautics.

Accelerated Bridge Program Sees Early Success

Governor Deval Patrick Thursday toured the Interstate 190 Bridge over Route 12 project in Worcester, above, to highlight the early success of the Patrick-Murray Administration's unprecedented $3 billion, eight-year Accelerated Bridge Program to reduce the Commonwealth's backlog of structurally-deficient bridges

In less than two years, 13 ABP bridge projects have been completed with 62 more projects beginning or continuing this upcoming construction season, creating hundreds of engineering and construction jobs and providing long-term savings in avoided inflation and deferred maintenance costs.

Since May 2008, the number of structurally deficient bridges targeted by ABP has dropped more than 9%, down 49 bridges, from 543 to 494. At least 200 bridge projects will be completed during the eight-year program. The total value of ABP projects advertised to date exceeds $472 million.

The I-190 project in Worcester is repairing a structurally-deficient bridge carrying a heavily-traveled Interstate highway over Route 12 near the Greendale Mall in Worcester. The bridge is currently under construction as part of a $3.6 million contract to repair structurally deficient bridges in the Worcester region.

In Central Massachusetts alone, the ABP Substructure Repair contracts total $11.2 million and have already removed 16 bridges from the structurally deficient list with repairs made to another 14 bridges, preventing those bridges from deteriorating and being added to the list. Work is also underway at three locations along the I-495 corridor where repairs will prevent a total of 6 bridges from becoming structurally-deficient. The Patrick-Murray Administration provides the latest information on the interactive ABP website.

Sagamore Bridge: High Tech Traffic Solutions

MassDOT is working with the Army Corps of Engineers on a new system now in operation to monitor traffic in real time during construction at the Sagamore Bridge. Technology called iCones has been installed by the Army Corps. The iCones look like traffic cones but are equipped to monitor and translate traffic speed data into travel times. Those travel times will be displayed on MassDOT Variable Message Sign boards located in three locations on the Cape side of the bridge.

Two locations are SmartZone message boards, which include traffic cameras. Those cameras are linked to the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority website, as shown, where any one can log on and see traffic conditions in real time. Cameras are also in place as part of MassDOT's 511 traffic camera system on the other side of the bridge, allowing drivers approaching the Cape to get traffic data. The iCone deployment is the result of the partnership among the Army Corps of Engineers, MassDOT, Cape Cod Commission and a regional task force, all coming together to help travelers make informed choices during the necessary construction work at the Sagamore Bridge.

MassDOT Dorchester Avenue Project Community Web Page

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has unveiled a new website devoted to keeping residents and area businesses informed about the progress of the $15.6 million Dorchester Avenue stimulus project.

The project is part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future.

An update will be sent via email to the community and added to every two weeks highlighting a general description of work locations, activities and hours. Specific anticipated lane closures and any restrictions on parking and pedestrian travel ways throughout the project work area will be included.

The work schedule from March 15-26 is as follows:

Traffic signal and conduit installation at Peabody Square, East Cottage/Crescent, Old Colony. The Clock island fence at Peabody Square will be removed. The work hours are 7am – 3pm weekdays. At Peabody Square, the pass through that runs between the clock island and Store 24 will be closed.

There will be no parking in the work zone from 7am – 4pm, Mon. – Fri.

If you have questions or concerns please send feedback to or call MassDOT at 617-248-2822.

The Dorchester Avenue project will will improve safety and mobility at four major intersections along the Dorchester Avenue corridor: Andrews Square, Glover's Corner, Fields Corner and Peabody Square. An additional 11 intersections will receive traffic signal equipment upgrades and interconnection and hardwire control to the City of Boston Traffic Management Center. All intersections will see accessibility and bicycle accommodation improvements.

MassDOT Board April Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, April 7, in Springfield. 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.