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On the Trans Blog
Savin Hill Clock Honors Dorchester Judge

MassDOT and MBTA collaborated with the Friends of Leo Lydon and City of Boston to install a four post Howard clock in Lydon's name in front of the Savin Hill MBTA Station. MassDOT installed the clock this week. It will begin functioning when the MBTA completes electrical wiring.

In 2007, residents of the Savin Hill community joined together to organize a fundraising effort in memory of The Honorable Leo J. Lydon.

After years of hard work by his supporters, MassDOT, MBTA and the City of Boston, the clock has been installed as a new Savin Hill landmark and permanent reminder of Lydon's commitment to his community. The Friends of Leo Lydon plan to hold a dedication ceremony for the clock later this year.

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, 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
by email.

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 by email by phone at 617-973-8049.

The Road to Reform

Wellesley Route 9 "Heavy Lift" Bridge Project

MassDOT in July 2011 will again use accelerated "heavy lift" techniques to replace the superstructure of the bridge carrying Cedar Street over Route 9 in Wellesley. A Design Public Hearing on the project was held this week at Wellesley Town Hall.

The Cedar Street Bridge replacement project is funded by the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic, eight-year Accelerated Bridge Program to repair and replace structurally-deficient bridges.

The project will replace the bridge superstructure and restore the structural integrity of the bridge for many years to come and increase the vertical clearance under the bridge.

Accelerated bridge construction techniques will minimize the duration of construction and impacts on the travelling public. The replacement superstructure will be prefabricated on site to allow for demolition of the existing superstructure and placement of the new superstructure within a 72-hour period over the July 4th weekend, 2011.

The Commonwealth's first "Heavy Lift" Bridge project in fall 2010 replaced the structurally deficient bridge carrying Route 2 over Route 2A in Phillipston.

Written statements regarding the proposed project in Wellesley may be submitted to Frank A. Tramontozzi, P.E., Chief Engineer, MassDOT - Highway Division, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116. Project inquiries may be emailed to dot.feedback.highway@state.ma.us.


MBTA Tests Commuter Rail "Quiet Cars"

The MBTA and MBCR this week began the "Quiet Car" program on rush-hour trains on the Fitchburg and Franklin commuter rail lines.

The pilot program is to run for 90 days, during which time riders on the two lines will be asked to provide feedback on their experience with the program. Depending on customer response to the pilot program, the MBTA and MBCR will consider the deployment of "Quiet Cars" on all thirteen Commuter Rail lines.

MBTA General Manager Richard Davey said the program is the result of a recent survey, which indicated significant demand for passenger coaches free from cell phone chatter.

The car closest to the locomotive will be designated as the 'quiet car.' Customers using it will be asked to refrain from cell phone use; keep pagers, cell phones, laptop and PDA sounds off or to vibrate; and speak in whispers. Riders seated in a quiet car who need to use the phone will be asked to move to another car for the duration of their call. Conductors will make normal announcements during the trip. Conductors will be authorized to lift quiet car restrictions during any periods of service disruption or heavy passenger volume.

For more information, as well as tips for riding the "Quiet Car," please visit www.MBTA.com.


Craigie Drawbridge Closures

Effective Saturday, January 8, 2011, MassDOT will close all inbound travel lanes on Route 28 southbound at the intersection of Land Boulevard for approximately 12 weeks as part of the Craigie Drawbridge Rehabilitation Project. 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. (see attached detour map) For more information on the Craigie Drawbridge Rehabilitation project, please see www.mass.gov/massdot/charlesriverbridges.

Access to the Museum of Science will not be restricted but patrons are advised to approach the Museum from Boston to avoid anticipated traffic congestion on the Cambridge side of the project.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Access during Construction Bike and pedestrian access in each direction will be maintained during construction. During the drawbridge replacement, only one side of the bridge will be opened and must be shared by inbound and outbound bicycle and pedestrian traffic. A manned and signalized crossing area will be placed at the mid-point of the roadway at the Museum of Science during these phases.

As a result of the construction activities, the Charles River Channel is closed to all marine traffic and will reopen no later than April 27, 2011.

MBTA Public Transportation Options MassDOT encourages auto commuters to consider taking advantage of alternative transportation opportunities to avoid traffic and increased commuting times. For additional information on alternative commuter options please see www.MBTA.com or contact the MBTA Customer Support Services Center at (627) 222-3200 or TTY (627) 222-5146. Customer Service representatives are available Monday-Friday 6:30 AM - 8:00 PM and Saturday-Sunday from 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM.


Healthy Transportation Compact Award

MassDOT's groundbreaking Healthy Transportation Compact has received national recognition. The Federal Highway Administration gave a 2010 Exemplary Human Environment Initiative Award to the Compact for encouraging non-motorized transportation and a commitment to “creating and improving conditions for human activities while protecting the natural environment.”

The Healthy Transportation Compact created as part of the 2009 transportation reform legislation signed by Governor Deval Patrick is a multi-state agency collaboration to balance all transportation modes, expand mobility, improve health, support a cleaner environment, and create stronger communities.

The Compact collaboration includes MassDOT, Health and Human Services, Energy and Environmental Affairs, and Public Health.

The Compact among other things is charged with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing bicycle and pedestrian travel, working with the Massachusetts Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board to implement complete streets, expanding safe routes to school programs, and initiating public-private partnerships that support efficient transportation.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, "MassDOT is committed to facilitating coordination among the public and private sector, advocacy groups, land use, and public health stakeholders to address public health problems and promote healthy transportation."

The FHWA Exemplary Human Environment Initiative in its 3rd year recognizes transportation initiatives that make our transportation system work better for the people who use it.

Learn more about the FHWA Exemplary Human Environment Initiative on FHWA's website.


MassDOT Board February Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, February 2, 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.