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On the Trans Blog
Hines Bridge Closure: Major Reconstruction Project

The Hines Memorial Bridge over the Merrimack River in Amesbury is scheduled to close at 5:00 am on November 15. The bridge closure will allow crews to begin heavy construction associated with the bridge replacement. During construction, traffic in both directions will be detoured across the Merrimack River using I-95 via Route 113 and Route 110.

The $34 million reconstruction of Hines Memorial Bridge is a MassDOT design-build project that includes complete replacement of the bridge superstructure and the majority of the substructure along with new electrical and mechanical components for the moveable spans. The new bridge will consist of a four-span superstructure with two fixed approach spans and two pivoting middle spans.

Please visit the project website for more information on the Hines Memorial Bridge Replacement Project.

MBTA Old Colony Line Tie Replacement Begins

The replacement of deteriorating concrete ties on the Old Colony Line is underway. As a result, Plymouth Station is temporarily closed. Train service will be provided to and from Kingston Station ONLY. A shuttle bus will be provided Monday through Friday to take customers between the Plymouth and Kingston Stations. NO shuttle bus will be provided on weekends and holidays during the work.

The MBTA contractor, J.F. White, will replace the concrete ties between Plymouth Station and the Route 3 Overhead Bridge in Kingston. The project reflects the MBTA's commitment to provide customers with enhanced service reliability and MassDOT’s commitment to continually maintain and improve the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure.

Beginning today, all information about the project including work schedule, bus replacement service, and project updates will be available by visiting, then clicking on "About the MBTA", and "Projects." You may also call the MBTA Customer Support Service Center at (617) 222-3200.

The Road to Reform

MassDOT One Year Anniversary

by Jeffrey Mullan
MassDOT Secretary & CEO

November 1 marks MassDOT’s one year anniversary. By every measure our organization is much stronger than it was one year ago, and that bodes well for all of us who care about the future.

In one short year, following Governor Patrick's and Lt. Governor Murray's lead and with the strong support of our Board of Directors, we have become one transportation organization focused on customer service and safety.

There are simply too many achievements this year to list here. To highlight just a few, we have:

  • Invested over $1.5 billion into our infrastructure in every corner of the state
  • funded dozens of airport projects
  • made important improvements in MBTA and regional bus services
  • launched a nationally-recognized open data initiative that gives people real time information on subway and bus service
  • adopted an award-winning environmental sustainability policy
  • significantly increased transparency and community outreach
  • begun safety committees with our unions
  • started a roundtable forum to open up communication with DOT leadership
  • adopted Massachusetts transportation's first-ever strategic plan
  • used our website and social media to better serve our customers in unprecedented ways
  • reduced wait times and improved customer service at our RMV branches
  • improved our focus on worker and public safety in every aspect of our organization

We capped the first year with the impressive overnight placement of a new bridge on Route 2 in Phillipston. To me, it is the perfect and fitting testament to all that MassDOT stands for - a commitment to continuous process improvements aimed at saving money and at doing things better and faster.

As we move into year two, look for improvements on year one progress. None of us should be satisfied with the progress of transportation reform until MassDOT is widely recognized as the best transportation department in the United States. It is at that point that will regain people's faith and trust in all of us to plan, operate and maintain the state's transportation system. Our progress in the first year demonstrates that these worthwhile goals are very achievable.

MBTA Celebrates Copley Station Reconstruction

MBTA General Manager Rich Davey joined Mayor Thomas M. Menino to celebrate the $61 million modernization of Copley Station, located on the MBTA's Green Line. Copley Station is now fully accessible and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Opened in October 1913, Copley has undergone renovations over the years but today's modernization represents a key investment to improve the station's accessibility. In 2006, the MBTA announced renovations to Arlington, Copley, and Kenmore stations to upgrade for accessibility and general station maintenance. Copley station is the last station to be renovated with two brand new elevators, two new glass entrances, a new escalator, and restoration of the historic wrought iron inbound headhouse located adjacent to the Boston Public Library.

Additional renovations include raised platforms to accommodate low floor Green Line vehicles, two new emergency egresses, and new Automated Fare Collection equipment in each entrance. Surface area restoration includes upgrades to sidewalks, landscaping, curbs, and historic granite elements in front of the Boston Public Library.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that certain key stations in the transit system be accessible to all persons with disabilities. The MBTA Key Station Plan, which was approved by the Federal Transit Administration, includes 80 key stations that must be in compliance with ADA guidelines. Today, 77 MBTA key stations are in compliance including Copley.

Craigie Drawbridge Road Restrictions

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:

MBTA Silver Line Upgrades Coming

Customer service along the MBTA's most popular bus route will be significantly enhanced as part of a construction contract awarded by the MassDOT Board of Directors.

The federal stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act $3.4 million project includes a series of improvements to the Silver Line’s fourteen stations along Washington Street in Roxbury and the South End.

Under its contract with the MBTA, S & R Construction will install new laminated glass windscreens at each shelter to shield customers from wind and rain while maximizing the impact of newly-installed overhead heating units.

The Silver Line’s 15,000 daily customers will also enjoy a smoother ride following pavement repairs in the bus lanes and at deteriorated crosswalks, where cobblestones will be replaced by asphalt between Melnea Cass Boulevard and Herald Street.

"These investments in the Silver Line corridor which serves large number of our customers are an example of how that priority is being put into action. And, we are not done. More improvements are coming next year, and we are working closely with the City, local leaders, and citizens of the area on ways to improve connections to Dudley from points south to Mattapan Square. The Governor is serious about the need to make real improvements in these areas," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan.

MassDOT Board December Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, December 1, 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.