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On the Trans Blog
Green Line Extension Design Documents

by Kate Fichter, Green Line Extension Project Manager

Helpful materials from the recent Station Design Workshops are now available for your review and download from the Green Line Extension website. We appreciate your participation in the Workshops and hope that these materials are helpful to you.

As always, if you have any questions on the Green Line Extension project, you can email Kate Fichter.

View the complete Green Line Extension blog post.

Public Hearings: Proposed Hazardous Material Route

Public Hearings will be held by MassDOT, as the state routing agency, to discuss the I-93/I-95 Non-Radioactive Hazardous Material through routing designation proposed by the City of Boston. The four hearings are scheduled as follows:

Boston- Tuesday, August 23, 6:30-8:30pm, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, 2nd Floor

Quincy- Wednesday, August 24, 6:30-8:30pm, Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington Street

Waltham- Tuesday, August 30, 6:30-8:30pm, Clark Government Center, Main Auditorium, 119 School Street

Stoneham- Thursday, September 1, 6:30-8:30pm, Stoneham Town Hall Auditorium, 35 Central Street

View the complete Hazardous Materials Routing blog post.

The Road to Reform

Secretary Mullan: "Reform is in Good Hands"

by Jeff Mullan, MassDOT Secretary & CEO

Governor Patrick announced that he has accepted my resignation as Secretary of Transportation, effective September 2, 2011. He also announced that he has appointed Rich Davey to succeed me as Secretary.

It’s never a good time to leave any organization, particularly one like ours when so many of you are doing such good work and we have so much more work to do. But, for the reasons I shared with all of you in my message a few weeks ago, I know that this is the right decision for me and my family. In September, I will return to Foley Hoag to resume my law practice.

I am pleased that the Governor has recognized Rich’s talents and know that, with his energy, smarts, and curiousity, transportation reform is in good hands. Over the next month, I intend to work closely with Rich in effecting a smooth transition. I ask that you do so as well.

By now, all of you know how much I believe in all that we have done and are doing. You should also know how enormously proud I am of the progress we have made and the work you have all done. For me personally, I am particularly proud to have kept my head about me in times of difficulty, to have served my turn for over four years, and to have earned the friendship and respect of so many of you. For that, I thank you.

I won’t say goodbye because I have a few more weeks left. I look forward to them.

Medford "93Fast14" Project: 12 of 14 Bridges Replaced

The Medford I-93 "93Fast14" project has now completed 12 of 14 bridges and continues on the 9th weekend of bridge replacements with the focus on the I-93 South bridge over Riverside Avenue. The work will take place between 7:45 PM Friday, August 5th and 5:00 AM Monday, August 8th.

Throughout the course of the weekend, traffic on I-93 will be limited to two lanes in each direction over a 6-mile segment between Exit 28 (Sullivan Square) in Somerville and Exit 36 (Montvale Avenue) in Stoneham. Traffic on I-93 South will be directed through a median crossover near Spot Pond at the Stoneham/Medford line and then travel in counter-flow operation on the northbound barrel of the highway before traveling through a second median crossover near the Medford/Somerville line. I-93 directional traffic will be separated by a moveable "zipper lane" barrier. Access to and from many of the ramps on I-93 South in this area will be restricted.

The $98.1 million project to replace these fourteen bridge superstructures in Medford is funded through the Patrick-Murray Administration’s historic Accelerated Bridge Program, a $3 billion recovery effort to reduce the Commonwealth’s backlog of structurally-deficient bridges.

For more information or to sign up to receive future updates and schedule information, visit the 93Fast 14 Project website.

MassBike: Casey Overpass Outreach Praised

by David Watson, MassBike Executive Director

The Casey Overpass is a four-lane, raised section of Route 203, connecting the Arborway to Forest Hills Cemetery and Franklin Park in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. It passes over the Southwest Corridor and Forest Hills Station. The structure was built in 1954, but 57 years later it is structurally unsound and splits the community in two between what amounts to the width of eight lanes of roadway. As part of the Accelerated Bridge Program, MassDOT will be replacing the overpass, but “What will it be replaced with?” is the question. The project has regional as well as neighborhood significance, as the current overpass carries a significant amount of traffic to and from Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, Mattapan, Milton, Dorchester, West Roxbury, and beyond.

Earlier this year, MassBike, along with community groups and advocates, was invited to join the project’s Working Advisory Group (WAG). The group’s purpose is to help develop an alternative vision for the area. Because the area is used by commuters of all types (motorists, bicyclists, public transportation riders, and pedestrians), this is an opportunity to create a safe and improved area for all the roadway’s constituents and for the neighborhood itself. MassBike is lending its bicycling expertise to the WAG, while local community advocates lead the way to a solution that works for their neighborhood.

So far, the Working Group has been meeting to discuss the current problems of the Casey Overpass, establish priorities for addressing these issues, and begin to look at various design alternatives. Most recently, the design alternatives have been narrowed down to four basic concepts: a split bridge, a single bridge, surface roads with a wide median, and surface roads with a narrow median. The WAG met this week to discuss the pros and cons of each approach. You can see all the information presented at WAG meetings here. As the group continues to meet throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll have more of an idea of what a possible solution may look like. One thing is clear – everyone is committed to finding the best solution for the community and all those who use the area.

MassBike is involved because we see this as a great way for MassDOT, the community, and advocates to work together at the earliest stages of a project. MassDOT and its consultants have created a process that is admirably community-driven and responsive to community input. While no project design process can satisfy everyone, this is a pretty good one so far, and we hope MassDOT will use this approach regularly.

MassDOT Supports Boston Bike Share

The next time you need to get around Boston – consider the healthy transportation option of the Hubway bike share system! Bicycling offers 'healthy, green and fun' travel option.

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullan says “Our 'GreenDOT' policy initiative has demonstrated a strong commitment to healthy transportation options as essential to creating livable communities. This bike share system supports that commitment.”

MassDOT contributed to Hubway’s launch with a $3 million Federal Transit Administration grant awarded to the MBTA for bikeshare in combination our Clean Air and Mobility CMAQ funding. The CMAQ funding will allow the program to expand into Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline.

To help your first ride be an easy ride – check out 'Go By Bike' and 'Same Roads Same Rules' before taking a ride on the Hubway.

MassDOT August Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, August 10, 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.