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On the Trans Blog
South Coast Rail Plan Wins International Award

The Patrick-Murray Administration's South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan has won the first-ever 2011 Charter Award Grand Prize from the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). The Corridor Plan estimates the South Coast Rail project will stimulate nearly $500 million in new economic activity each year, while creating at least 3,500 net long-term jobs by 2030, with two-thirds of those jobs in the region. Construction of the rail project will generate an additional 7,000 to 8,000 jobs. In addition to creating jobs and stimulating neighborhood revitalization, the Plan identifies over 70 sites that are important to preserve due to the presence of high quality natural resources.

Visit South Coast Rail on the web to view the Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan and project background information.

Bates Bridge Project Shows Progress

The ongoing work to build a new Bates Bridge over the Merrimack River in Haverhill and Groveland will be making visible progress in spring 2011.

The $49.7 million project is building a new bridge located approximately 60 feet downstream from the existing bridge. The existing bridge carrying Routes 97/113 over the river remains open during construction. The replacement bridge will have a movable span similar to the existing bridge. In addition to the new bridge, the project will move and reconstruct the approach roadways in Haverhill and Groveland, including traffic signal and other improvements in both communities.

The Road to Reform

"See Something Say Something" Campaign

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray this week launched the new, updated "If You See Something, Say Something" MBTA transit security awareness campaign during a visit to Boston's South Station. The campaign urges the public to take an active role in helping to keep the city and the transit system safe and secure.

The MBTA originally adopted the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign in 2003, based upon a campaign implemented by New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority. The campaign is funded by a $1 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security's Transit Security Grant Program. It promotes a collaborative effort of state and local agencies to work together educating the public to be more aware of their surroundings, and report any behavior that may appear suspicious to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.

The 2011 revitalized campaign uses posters and vehicle car cards along with unique elements customers may encounter during their commute to distribute the "See Something Say Something" message. MassDOT and the MBTA will also use social media including the MassDOT blog, YouTube and Twitter to ask for the public's help.

Tips on keeping a watchful eye when in transit include the following:

  • Watch for backpacks, packages, or bags placed in out-of-the way locations.
  • Watch for packages that contain attached batteries, wires, cell phones, or notes.
  • Watch for packages that emit a suspicious cloud, mist, gas, or odor.
  • Watch for suspicious behavior such as individuals who abandon a package, and then hastily depart.
  • Watch for a group of people acting in a rehearsed manner.
  • Watch for people carrying spray bottles or aerosol canisters.

Call the Transit Police at 617-222-1212 or notify an MBTA employee. To report a non-emergency concern call: 1-617-222-8477 (TIPS) or 1-866-773-8368. Visit www.mbta.com


Casey Overpass Public Information Meeting

MassDOT has scheduled a Public Information Meeting for the Casey Overpass Project:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
6:00-6:30 PM - Open House
6:30-8:30 PM - Public Information Meeting
Agassiz School Community Center
20 Child Street, Jamaica Plain

MassDOT is initiating a study of alternatives to replace the existing Monsignor William J. Casey Overpass, to be funded by the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic Accelerated Bridge Program to repair or replace structurally-deficient bridges. The planning study phase will consist of an extensive public outreach process and include at-grade and structural solutions. The selected alternative will advance into design phase for construction.

The purpose of the Public Information meeting is to present the study goals and outline the public participation process for the project. Following the presentation, MassDOT staff will lead a discussion to gather public comments and answer questions. As part of the study, MassDOT has formed a Casey Overpass Working Advisory Group. During the next 6 months, the Working Advisory Group will study and evaluate safe, accessible, multi-modal landscape, streetscape and transportation options that will lead to a project that can be completed by June 2016. Public Information Meetings will be held in sequence with Advisory Group meetings.

For more information about the project contact Paul King, MassDOT Project Manager, 617-973-8137 or Paul.C.King@state.ma.us

To be added to the project distribution list, contact John Romano, 617-973-7028 or John.Romano@state.ma.us


Federal Innovation Grant Boosts Charlemont Project

The Fleury Bridge Project in Charlemont is one of just 15 projects in 13 states to receive a Federal Highway Administration grant award for using innovative construction technologies. The $285,000 award will support the $971,000 project, part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic Accelerated Bridge Program to repair structurally deficient bridges across the Commonwealth.

The Fleury Bridge carries Mountain Road over Hartwell Brook in Charlemont. The project now in design will replace the structurally-deficient bridge by using three precast concrete beams, reducing construction time by two-thirds to approximately six months. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2011.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a total of $9.5 million for 15 projects that employ innovative construction technologies that more quickly and efficiently improve safety, reduce congestion and create high-quality, long-lasting highways and bridges.

MassDOT also received a $1 million grant toward the Medford I-93 Bridges project, replacing 14 bridge decks on I-93 in Medford during the summer 2011 construction season.


MassDOT April Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, April 6, 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.