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On the Trans Blog
Boston Tunnels Attract International Interest
MassDOT participated in this month's three-day international conference in Boston about the latest developments in roadway tunnel operations, maintenance, security and technology. Boston was selected to host this first conference organized by Arena International because it has the most sophisticated underground highway system in the country.
Arena International worked diligently not only with MassDOT personnel but with many jurisdictions in the private and public sector to bring this conference together. MassDOT partners at the NFPA and AASHTO... Read the complete article.
New Bedford Station Design Contest
MassDOT and the City of New Bedford announced an informal design competition for a new station near Route 18 to be known as Whale’s Tooth. The multi-modal station will be built as part of the South Coast Rail project and may host a new local and intercity bus terminal. The announcement was made in New Bedford City Hall by Mayor Scott W. Lang and Kristina Egan, Director of South Coast Rail, MassDOT.
In addition to holding a design contest, the City, MassDOT, and the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority have launched an initiative to identify ways to improve local bus service and provide service to the Whale’s Tooth station. Customer surveys are underway to gather information from riders and the larger public. Recommendations will be released next year in the first comprehensive report ever developed for the bus authority.
The contest poster and background information about the station site are posted on the project website, www.mass.gov/ southcoastrail. Submissions are due on December 20, 2010, and must include one or two drawings or renderings and a description and rationale for the design.
The Road to Reform
MassDOT Reform: Online Bidding
The MBTA is continuing its long and fruitful legacy of advancing the construction of shared-use paths with the announcement of two new leases that will turn abandoned railroad corridors into new paths. Just as the MBTA has done with many abandoned rail corridors, including the corridor that now hosts the popular Minuteman Commuter Bikeway, these two recent MBTA initiatives will promote shared-use path construction that will foster healthy transportation modes and provide new connections to transit, residential areas, schools, and employment centers.
The Somerville lease will facilitate the extension of the Mass Central BSG corridor. A 1.2-mile section of the former Somerville Freight right-of-way, between Lowell Street, Somerville and the Cambridge border, will be used exclusively by Somerville to build, maintain and operate a rail trail. Under a previously approved license with the MBTA, the City of Somerville has already developed the rail trail between the Cambridge border and Cedar Street. This action allows the trail to be extended to Lowell Street. Increasingly popular with residents, the rail trail provides a safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycling connection to the Davis Square Red Line station.
The Saugus Branch lease will speed the expansion of the North Shore BSG corridor. The MassDOT Board has approved a separate 99-year lease with Revere for an approximately one-mile section of the former Saugus Branch right-of-way, between the Malden and Saugus borders. This section of inactive railroad will become part of the 10 mile-long Northern Strand Community Trail (Bike to the Sea) which, when completed, will travel through five communities. Under the lease agreement, the City of Revere will assume the cost of scrapping the abandoned rail and disposing of the old railroad ties. As with other rail trail agreements, the lease includes a reversion clause should the property be needed for other future transportation purposes.
To date, the MBTA has entered into 27 similar agreements with cities and towns, leading to the creation of more than 100 miles of rail trails. This valuable program preserves right-of-ways for the Commonwealth’s future transportation needs, as well as providing environmental and recreational benefits.
The MBTA’s actions reinforce major MassDOT initiatives, the GreenDOT Policy and the Healthy Transportation Compact, and they directly support implementation of the 740-mile, seven-corridor Bay State Greenway (BSG) identified in the 2008 Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan.
Fore River Bridge Public Meeting Set
A MassDOT Public Meeting for the Fore River Bridge Replacement Project is scheduled for:
Thursday, January 13, 2011, 6:30 – 9:30 PM, Fore River Club House, 16 Nevada Road, Quincy
The replacement of the Fore River Bridge, which carries Route 3A over the Fore River between Quincy and Weymouth, is part of Governor Deval Patrick's Accelerated Bridge Program to repair or replace structurally-deficient bridges across the Commonwealth. The Fore River Bridge Project is one of the largest in the program and when completed will create a permanent, movable bridge to replace the current temporary span.
The public meeting will present the Environmental Assessment for the Fore River Bridge Project. The Assessment now available for public review is prepared to evaluate alternatives and impacts for the permanent replacement of the 1936 Fore River Bridge, which was demolished in 2004 and temporarily replaced with the existing movable lift bridge. The Assessment is available on the project website, www.mass.gov/massdot/foreriverbridge, and at the Weymouth, Quincy, and Braintree public libraries. Public comments are due by January 26, 2011 and will be accepted during the meeting or may be mailed to the Federal Highway Administration and MassDOT as directed on the project website. Following the presentation, MassDOT staff will lead a discussion to gather comments and answer questions.
For more information about the Environmental Assessment, contact Michael Furlong at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, 10 Park Plaza, Room 4260, Boston, MA 02116. Mike can also be reached at 617-973-8067 or Michael.Furlong@state.ma.us.
If you have questions, would like more information about the project, or would like to be added to the project mailing list, please contact Stephanie Boundy, 617-973-8049 or at email@example.com.
"Fill-A-Bus" Toy Drive
MassDOT Secretary Jeffrey Mullan and MBTA General Manager Richard Davey joined MBTA Union Officials this week at the MBTA Repair and Maintenance Facility in Everett for the Kick-Off of the annual MassDOT 2010 Fill-A-Bus Toy Drive.
The campaign from Monday, December 13 through Friday, December 17 reached out to MassDOT employees from Worcester and Arlington to Lynn, Taunton and Boston to help fill an MBTA bus with donations of new unwrapped toys for local needy children. Toys will be donated to the Freedom House, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), Roxbury Multi – Service Center, Yawkey Boys & Girls Club of Boston.
MassDOT Board January Public Meeting
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, January 5, 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.
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