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On the Trans Blog
Westminster Bridge Dedicated in Honor of Soldier

Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray joined state and local officials as well as family and friends in Westminster to unveil the marker naming a Route 2 bridge the "Ryan Patrick Jones Bridge," in honor of 1st Lieutenant Ryan Patrick Jones of Westminster who was killed in action in Iraq on May 2, 2007.

The bridge, located on the Mohawk Trail in Westminster, is named in remembrance of Lieutenant Ryan Patrick Jones, who grew up in Westminster. In his role as Platoon leader in the Army, Lieutenant Jones demonstrated true leadership abilities and set an example for all of the lives he touched.

Army Corps: Bourne Bridge Travel Restrictions

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced lane restrictions for the Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne beginning next week and continuing through early December 2010. The restrictions will be in place to allow bridge deck repairs and paving.

Message boards, located at both approaches to the Bourne Bridge, will keep motorists advised of work efforts. Also, fixed signage will be installed at all approach roads to the Bourne Bridge, alerting motorists to the bridge work and associated travel restrictions. Check the Army Corps Cape Cod Canal website for the work status, lane shifts, and other schedule changes.

Weekend Farmers Markets

MassDOT's annual Farmer's Market Program continues through fall 2010.

This weekend's Farmers Markets include:

  • Lee East on Saturday & Sunday from 9:30 PM - 5:30 PM.
  • Charlton West on Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9 AM - 4 PM.
  • Charlton East on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 9 AM - 4 PM.
  • Framingham on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10 AM - 4 PM.

Local farmers or customers who want more information are asked to contact program coordinator Dave Fenton at dave.fenton@state.ma.us or 413-572-3171.

The Road to Reform

MBTA Wonderland Station Parking: Smart Growth

Federal, state and local officials this week formally announced construction of the Wonderland Garage Project. The $47 million, seven-story parking facility with 1465 parking spaces supports the Patrick-Murray Administration's plan for the City of Revere's Waterfront Square Development, a smart-growth, transit-oriented development. "The Wonderland project is a prime example of a strategic investment in transportation infrastructure that creates jobs today and spurs economic development for years to come in a location well-positioned for future growth," said Governor Deval Patrick.

"This project is at the heart of what government investment should be all about, putting people back to work now with the construction of this garage while also paving the way for private sector long-term investment in the Waterfront Square Development," said Congressman Ed Markey, Dean of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation.

Funded with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and MBTA bond revenue financing, the project involves relocating the existing busway to consolidate parking and optimize transit services. The new garage will provide ample parking along with additional elements designed to create a multi-modal transit facility integrated with the adjacent Wonderland station.

The Waterfront Square development is a planned mixed - use community of 902 residential units, 145,500 square feet of office space, a 100-room hotel and 28,000 square feet of retail space. An estimated nearly 700 permanent jobs will be created as a result of the Waterfront Square Project.

Transit projects are a part of the more than $4 billion infrastructure investments being made as part of the Administration's Massachusetts Works initiative putting nearly 20,000 people to work across the Commonwealth this construction season.

Learn more about Massachusetts Works.


Safe Routes to School: Northampton Project Completed

The Patrick-Murray Administration announced completion of access and safety improvements around the Jackson Street School in Northampton, representing the first school access and safety improvement in Massachusetts to be completed based on recommendations of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School program. MassDOT representatives joined students, parents, and city and state officials in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project, funded through the Massachusetts Works program and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Commonwealth's Safe Routes to School Program which works with students, parents, school staff and local police in over 100 Massachusetts communities and more than 300 schools to promote walking and bicycling to school. This program seeks to improve students' health, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in Massachusetts communities. Because of its participation in the program, the Jackson Street School became eligible for infrastructure projects specifically targeted to helping children get to school more safely and conveniently.

The Jackson Street School project includes several measures to slow vehicle traffic, manage street crossings and improve sidewalk conditions. Specific enhancements include constructing raised crosswalks leading to the school, narrowing the school driveway to reduce turning radius at the curb, reconstructing sidewalks between a heavily used bikeway and the school and constructing a ramp from the bikeway to the reconstructed sidewalk.

The Patrick-Murray Administration, through MassDOT, has engaged an on-call team of school engineers, planners and bicycle/pedestrian experts to plan, design and construct targeted infrastructure improvements that enhance access to the Commonwealth's elementary and middle schools. These school access experts analyze current travel patterns and conditions, identify safety problems and work with school officials, parents and community leaders to design and construct solutions developed to reduce traffic speeds and improve pedestrian and bicycle access to schools. MassDOT currently has four other Safe Routes to School access and safety improvement projects entering construction, seven in design and 37 receiving planning and engineering assessments of their needs.

The Safe Routes to School program is also a key component of the Healthy Transportation Compact, an initiative of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic transportation reform that promotes collaboration between the departments of transportation and public health to adopt best practices, increase efficiency and achieve positive health outcomes through the coordination of land use, transportation and public health policy. Safe Routes to School enables direct collaboration between the Commonwealth and schools and communities to promote walking and bicycling transportation as fun, safe and sustainable.

Safe Routes to School is federally-funded and administered by the MassRIDES travel options program on behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. To find out how your school can participate, contact Jennifer Solomon at jennifer.solomon@state.ma.us or visit Safe Routes on the web.


Worcester Canal Street District Boost

The Patrick-Murray Administration during the Worcester Blackstone Canalfest celebration announced the $7.5 million Worcester Canal District streetscape project is moving forward. Bids have now been advertised for the project, partially funded by the federal stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The $7.5 million Blackstone Canal District streetscape improvement project involves resurfacing, widened sidewalks with upgraded materials, enhanced signage, plantings and street trees, decorative street lighting and improved pedestrian crossings. The work also includes installation of street furniture - benches, bike racks, waste receptacles and water elements representing the Blackstone Canal.

The Canalfest is an annual celebration of food, music, dance and history at the site of the Blackstone Canal, which was built in the 1820ís for shipping purposes to connect Worcester to Providence via the Blackstone River. Streetscape construction will begin in the winter.

The project boundaries are in the Canal District area located between Grafton Street and Green Street from Union Station to Kelley Square and along Harding Street and Millbury Street from Kelley Square to Brosnihan Square. The City of Worcester has acquired all necessary right-of-way easements.


MassDOT Board October Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, October 7, 1:00pm, Brockton. The MBTA Board will meet first at 1pm, followed by the MassDOT Board. All meetings are open to the public.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.