The Official Website of The Massachusetts Department of Transportation

MassDOT News

Home > Information Center > Weekly Newsletters > MassDOT News 02/19/2016
Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT March
Board Meeting

March 16
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Suite 3830
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

Route 79/Braga Bridge Project Reconnects City to Historic Battleship

Fall River residents and visitors will gain a better view of their waterfront as part of the Route 79/Braga Bridge Improvements Project, which is especially exciting for one Fall River resident commonly known as "Big Mamie."

Check out the entire Rte 79/Braga Bridge Historic Battleship blog post.

Social Media

Follow Us On...


February 19

MBTA GM: Orange Line Train Exterior Checks

MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola issued a statement following Tuesday’s Orange Line incident in which a train body panel near the bottom edge of one of its cars fell onto the tracks:

"The MBTA is immediately incorporating a more thorough exterior check of body panel hardware as part of regular maintenance work on Orange Line cars. Bolts and rivets of body panels will now be examined every 12 thousand miles, which is approximately every 8 or 9 weeks, when Orange Line cars are taken into a garage for scheduled comprehensive maintenance. This maintenance already includes checks of the safety system, evacuation equipment, propulsion system, brake system, suspension system, communication system, doors, wheels, lights, seating, and other interior compartment items."

Read the full statement on the MBTA website

Route 2/I-95 Bridge Replacement: Major East-West Connector Gets Upgrade

The cloverleaf interchange of Route 2 and I-95 in Lexington is undergoing major upgrades for the Route 2/I-95 Bridge Replacement Project.

The bridges that carry Route 2 East and West over I-95 are structurally deficient and their vertical clearance is substandard. MassDOT is replacing the two bridges to address these deficiencies, upgrade their capacity, meet current seismic criteria, improve safety, protect the environment, and reduce annual maintenance costs.

Route 2 is a main alternative to the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) for east-west travel across the state, carrying approximately 67,000 vehicles per day. It spans the northern part of the state of Massachusetts from the New York border in Williamstown all the way east to the Boston Common. Not only is Route 2 one of the most scenic state routes, it is also one of the most historic.

Postcard of the Mohawk Trail (at left) Courtesy of The Boston Public Library, Tichnor Brothers Collection

One of the state’s earliest turnpikes, the Cambridge and Concord Turnpike, made up a portion of today’s Route 2.

In the western half of the state, Route 2 is known as "Mohawk Trail." This 63-mile long stretch follows the footpaths of an ancient Native American trade route that connected the Connecticut and Hudson River Valleys. It officially opened in 1914 as New England's first scenic road, which allowed automobiles to travel through the winding Berkshire Mountains for the first time (many areas were inaccessible until the opening of Mohawk Trail). Mohawk Trail is still considered one of the country's most scenic drives by many, attracting thousands of "leaf peepers" during the height of the fall foliage season.

Travelers and commuters from all over will soon be able to drive across a new bridge span to reach the Mohawk Trail section of Route 2. The project reached a milestone in November 2015 when one of the two new Route 2 bridge spans opened for eastbound traffic. The contractor has completed demolition of the old eastbound span and will begin erecting steel beams for the new bridge this month. The project will be substantially complete in fall 2016. To stay up to date on the progress of this important project, sign up for the project email list.

Longfellow Bridge Project: New Appleton Pedestrian Bridge

The Frances "Fanny" Appleton Bridge is a pedestrian walkway that spans Storrow Drive between Charles Circle and the Esplanade.

The bridge was renamed in 2014 to celebrate the marriage of Frances “Fanny” Appleton and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose namesake bridge lies just to the east. Work is taking place on both bridges as part of MassDOT’s Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project.

The new Frances Appleton Bridge will be complete in 2017 when the 222-foot span is opened to pedestrian travel. The slender deck arch bridge is designed to protect views of the Esplanade and the Longfellow Bridge. With no center piers, it seems to float above Storrow Drive. It’s fitting that the bridges honoring this celebrated couple sit side-by-side connecting Boston to the historic Esplanade and Cambridge.

Watertown: Arsenal Street Corridor Study Public Meeting Set

MassDOT has scheduled a Public Information Meeting on the Arsenal Street Corridor Study as follows:

Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Watertown Middle School, Auditorium, 68 Waverly Avenue

The study of the Arsenal Street Corridor in Watertown will develop and analyze alternatives that are intended to improve transportation conditions on Arsenal Street between Watertown Square and Birmingham Parkway. The study will focus on bus service along Arsenal Street and locations where the bus service ties into other crossing bus routes. The study will also propose improvements to vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian uses of the corridor.

At this public information meeting, the project team will introduce the study, review the study purpose, and provide an overview of coordination with the study’s Working Group and tasks completed to date. The public is encouraged to attend this meeting to learn more about the Arsenal Street Corridor Study, meet with the project team, and provide feedback.

For questions and comments related to the study, please contact Michael Clark at:, (857) 368-9800.

For more information, please visit the Arsenal Street Corridor Study website.

Translation Disabled  | Translation Support