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On the Trans Blog
MassWorks Grant Boosts Brookfield Roads

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray awarded the Town of Brookfield a $500,000 MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to help reconstruct portions of three roads within the town.

These funds will be used to reconstruct nearly two miles of Town Farm Road and sections of Gay Road and Rice Corner Road in Brookfield. The roadway upgrades will address certain public safety issues by improving several limited sight areas and through the installation of drainage facilities to mitigate frequent flooding in an elderly community. These investments in public infrastructure will put individuals to work immediately and will help unlock new economic development opportunities for the town by ensuring it is properly equipped to support new business growth. The total project cost is estimated at $625,000, with the Town of Brookfield providing the remaining funding.

The Patrick-Murray Administration this year launched the MassWorks Infrastructure Program as a one-stop shop for municipalities seeking public infrastructure funding. The program consolidates six existing infrastructure programs, each aimed at supporting job creation and economic development, to provide increased efficiency, service, and communication when cities and towns apply for infrastructure grants and resources. This approach has reduced duplication, improved accountability, and provided for the most effective management of state resources.

RMV Online Services Expand

The Patrick-Murray Administration has introduced another online convenience that will make it easier for Massachusetts drivers to go online for MassDOT RMV services and avoid waiting in line at branches. Customers of www.mass.gov/rmv can now order a duplicate certificate of title as long as it does not list a lien holder.

“Every year, approximately 70,000 customers request a duplicate title,” said MassDOT Registrar Rachel Kaprielian. “This newest online feature means half of those requests can be processed online instead of coming into a branch or through the mail. That’s thousands of fewer customers a year in our 30 branches.”

Duplicate titles is just one of more than 18 new services added to the MassDOT RMV website in the last two years increasing customer transaction traffic by 40%. In addition to renewing a license or registration, customers can also complete all license paperwork online and make an appointment to complete the application in a branch as well as register to be an organ tissue donor, book a road test and sign up for a free reminder service.

The Road to Reform

Wachusett Commuter Rail Extension

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray this week joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Congressman John Olver to announce the groundbreaking for the $55.5 million Wachusett Commuter Rail Extension Project.

The project, funded by a federal stimulus Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant, will extend the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line by 4.5 miles to a brand new Wachusett commuter rail station. The project also includes track improvements to support freight and passenger rail and a new layover facility.

"I wish to thank Secretary LaHood and Congressman Olver for their support as we make historic investments in freight and commuter rail in Fitchburg and across our state," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "It is gratifying to see commuter rail service expanded for commuters in this area."

"Thanks to the Recovery Act, we're investing $55.5 million to extend commuter rail service and unlock economic opportunities for people across Massachusetts," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This is great news for the region's economy and the thousands of Massachusetts commuters who will benefit from a faster, safer, more reliable, and more comfortable ride."

Ridership on the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line between Boston and Fitchburg has grown steadily since 2004. This ridership growth, coupled with at capacity parking facilities demonstrated a need for the service extension. The Wachusett Station will serve an estimated 400 new commuter rail passengers in 2012, and divert 824 vehicle trips from Route 2.

The Wachusett extension project will improve the region's economy by reducing the commute time from communities west of Fitchburg to the Boston area job market increasing the desirability of living in the region. Additional "reverse commute" options offer an opportunity for workers along the corridor to access employment centers in the region, including the 231 Industrial Park in Fitchburg. Check out the post on the US Secretary LaHood's "Fast Lane" blog.


MassWorks Grant: Randolph Improvements

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray this week joined state and local officials for the groundbreaking ceremony for Phase One of infrastructure improvements to the Town of Randolph's Crawford Square District, and awarded Randolph a $1 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to complete Phase Two of the project.

In 2007, the Patrick-Murray Administration awarded the Town of Randolph a $1.365 million grant for Phase One of the Crawford Square District improvement project. Today's groundbreaking kicks off construction that will help the town make roadway, traffic, and streetscape improvements in the District, the primary commercial and civic center for the town. Two bus routes also pass through this district, located less than one mile from the Holbrook/Randolph Commuter Rail Station. The work will reconstruct the business district area from Stetson Hall to Warren Street (Route 139), including roadway improvements, sidewalk construction for enhanced pedestrian walkways and crossings, and streetscape improvements such as trees, benches, trash receptacles, planters, decorative lighting and landscape enhancements.

Lt. Governor Murray also announced a $1 million MassWorks grant today that will fund Phase Two of the Crawford Business District project. When completed, the project will improve the function, safety and appearance of the area, boosting the economic vitality and commercial success of the downtown.

The Patrick-Murray Administration this year launched the MassWorks Infrastructure Program as a one-stop shop for municipalities seeking public infrastructure funding. The program consolidates six existing infrastructure programs supporting job creation and economic development to provide increased efficiency, service, and communication when cities and towns apply for infrastructure grants. This approach reduces duplication and improves accountability.

Learn more about the newly created MassWorks Infrastructure Program.


Craigie Drawbridge Public Meetings

MassDOT has scheduled three public meetings in Boston to discuss the construction plans and anticipated traffic impacts for the rehabilitation of the Craigie Drawbridge, which carries McGrath O’Brien Highway (Route 28) between Land Blvd. in Cambridge and Leverett Circle in Boston. Following a presentation, MassDOT staff will lead a discussion to answer questions. Meetings times and locations are as follows:

Beacon Hill/West End, October 25, 6:30 PM, 74 Joy Street, Boston

Charlestown, October 27, 7:00 PM, Charlestown Police Station, 55 Bunker Hill Street

North End, October 28, 6:00 PM, Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennet Street, Boston

Effective November 6, MassDOT will close all inbound travel lanes on Route 28 southbound at the intersection of Land Boulevard as part of the Craigie Drawbridge Rehabilitation Project Phase I. The Craigie Drawbridge carries McGrath O’Brien Highway (Route 28) between Land Blvd. in Cambridge and Leverett Circle in Boston.

Traffic trying to access I-93 and Storrow Drive will be detoured east over the Gilmore (Prison Point) Bridge towards Bunker Hill Community College/City Square. Traffic heading to I-93 Northbound will be directed left through Sullivan Square, while traffic trying to access I-93 Southbound and Route 1 via the Tobin Bridge will be directed to turn right. Traffic traveling to the Charles Circle Area will be detoured westbound down Land Boulevard to the Longfellow Bridge to cross the Charles River. Outbound traffic leaving Boston through Leverett Circle will be unaffected during this period. For more information on the Craigie Drawbridge Rehabilitation project, visit MassDOT's Charles River Bridges website: www.mass.gov/massdot/charlesriverbridges.


Phillipston Route 2 Bridge: Innovation

Lieutenant Governor Murray joined state and local leaders in Phillipston at the Commonwealth's first "Heavy Lift" Bridge project. The innovative $3.9 million project currently underway will replace the structurally deficient bridge that carries Route 2 over Route 2A (State Road) in Phillipston. The project is funded by the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic Accelerated Bridge Program.

MassDOT is building the replacement bridge in a temporary location north of the existing bridge and will slide it into place with self-propelled trailers at the end of October.

Building the replacement bridge away from the existing bridge allows Route 2 traffic to flow freely during nearly the entire construction duration, dramatically reducing the negative impacts of construction on road users. Route 2A traffic has also been trouble-free throughout construction.

In order to demolish the bridge and move the new bridge into place, the immediate bridge location will be closed to traffic for a period of approximately 202 consecutive hours at the end of the month. During this time, Route 2 traffic will follow a very short detour around the site via the on and off ramps. Exits 17 and 19 will provide access to final destinations reached via Route 2A. The construction of the bridge, which broke ground this year, will be complete in November

To learn more and see the detour routes for this project visit the Accelerated Bridge Program's Phillipston Heavy Lift Bridge Replacement website.

MassDOT Board November Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, November 3, 1:00pm, MBTA Board Room, Suite 3910, State Transportation Building, Boston.

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.