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Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT April
Board Meeting

April 10, 2017
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Second Floor Board Room
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

Springfield: I-91 Viaduct Project Public Meeting Set
I-91 logo

MassDOT has scheduled a public information meeting for the Interstate 91 Viaduct Rehabilitation Project as follows:

Wednesday, April 5
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
One Financial Plaza
3rd Floor Conference Room
1350 Main Street, Springfield

View the entire I-91 Viaduct Project blog post.

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March 24, 2017

South Coast Rail: Notice of Project Change

South Coast Rail Logo

The Baker-Polito Administration’s Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has filed a Notice of Project Change (NPC) for the South Coast Rail (SCR) Project with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office on March 15, 2017.

The Notice advances South Coast Rail as a phased project that uses the existing Middleborough/Lakeville Commuter Rail Line to provide early action service (Phase 1) sooner than if the project was constructed all at once while continuing preliminary engineering design and permitting on the Stoughton Electric route (Phase 2).

"Our administration is committed to providing the South Coast with commuter rail service as expeditiously and efficiently as possible," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Pursuing the Middleborough/Lakeville early action service while advancing the Stoughton Electric final phase service will facilitate commuter rail service to the region years earlier."

"We are proud to continue collaborating with elected and local officials and key stakeholders in developing the South Coast Rail Project," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "Through transportation infrastructure projects such as the South Coast Rail Project, we can empower people throughout the region and the Commonwealth and ensure Massachusetts continues to move forward."

Splitting the project into phases will enable MassDOT to make use of the 7.5 mile Middleborough Secondary Line, which must be upgraded to handle commuter rail traffic. While the MEPA review is underway, MassDOT will advance work on the so-called Southern Triangle, from Cotley Junction in Taunton south through Berkley, Lakeville, Freetown, Fall River, and New Bedford, which is common to both the early action and final phases of the project.

"We are pleased to continue advancing the South Coast Rail Project and working towards providing commuter rail service to the South Coast region in a timely and efficient manner," said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.

"This Notice of Project Change allows MassDOT to analyze impacts and incorporate public input of the proposed change to develop this project in phases. This will enable us to provide passenger rail to the South Coast region years sooner than would be the case if the project were constructed at one time."

"Filing of a Project Change Notice by the Baker-Polito Administration in favor of a 'Middleborough Route' is a major advancement for getting the permits to bring early commuter rail service to the South Coast," said Rep. Bill Straus, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. "The Governor deserves a great deal of credit in pushing for this route change, which can bring us actual commuter rail service faster and cheaper and with fewer permit hassles than the bogged down Stoughton Route. A one-seat ride to Boston by this route presents a realistic choice, at a third of the cost, to see commuter rail service restored to the South Coast."

The first phase of the project would extend the existing Middleborough/Lakeville Line via the Middleborough Secondary Line which provides a quicker, less expensive option for service to and from New Bedford and Fall River. Trains heading towards the South Coast would then join the New Bedford Main Line and continue to New Bedford or branch off on the Fall River Secondary to Fall River. Phase 1 service would be diesel as the existing Middleborough Line does not include the overhead catenary required for electric service. Phase 1 would also include the construction of several new stations and layover facilities in the Southern Triangle.

The NPC will be found at the Project’s website as well as in MEPA’s Environmental Monitor. A public comment period is scheduled to end on April 21, 2017. An SCR public meeting is also currently being scheduled; information about this session will be made available on the project website linked above and through emails to the mailing list.

Tobin Bridge Repair, Preservation Project

Tobin Bridge

MassDOT will begin operations this week on an upcoming project to repair, clean and preserve by painting a section of the Tobin Memorial Bridge which carries Route 1 over the Mystic River and between the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston and Chelsea.

MassDOT crews and contractors will carry out the $15.6 million project that includes structural steel repairs as well as cleaning and painting the steel and railings on the upper and lower levels in order to preserve the bridge. These activities will take place on the southernmost section of the bridge in Charlestown and the project and is expected to be completed by 2019.

In order to allow MassDOT crews and contractors to safely conduct these operations, the travel lanes on Route 1 northbound and southbound on the Tobin Memorial Bridge in this area will be reduced during off-peak hours with temporary lane closures at times throughout the duration of the project.

Appropriate signage and messaging will be in place to guide drivers during these construction operations and MassDOT will provide more information regarding impacts as it becomes available.

MassDOT encourages drivers to utilize the appropriate travel resources throughout the duration of this project and make informed decisions regarding their travel plans. Those traveling through the area should be mindful of delays and traffic impacts, reduce speed, and use caution.

I-90 Toll Plaza Reconstruction Progress


The MassDOT I-90 Toll Demolition and Road Reconstruction Project continues in spring 2017 with work progress on or ahead of schedule at all 23 locations. Each work location has its own unique traffic management and construction management plans. All work is contingent upon the weather.

As an example, work through the end of March at I-90 Exit 3 in Westfield includes drainage and lighting conduit installation along with excavation and construction along the ramp from Southampton Rd to I-90.

Please check the project website for regular construction updates organized by Highway district region.

If you have questions or issues and concerns related to construction, we invite you to email

Governor Baker Recognizes MBTA Electricians for Swift Life-Saving Actions

group photo

Governor Charlie Baker joined MBTA Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve, and Local 103 Union Representative Lou Antonellis as he presented MBTA Wirepersons Kevin O’Brien, Edward Reynolds, Richard Ryan and MBTA Green Line Inspector Stephen Nadolna with citations for their roles in helping to save a man’s life in Government Center Station.

"These individuals went above and beyond the call of duty when they utilized quick-thinking and safety skills training to respond and successfully save a man’s life," said Governor Charlie Baker. "We are honored to recognize the valiant efforts of these dedicated public servants."

Casey Arborway Project Update: MBTA Orange Line Impact

project logo

All MBTA Orange Line train service will board on the southbound platform at Forest Hills beginning Saturday, March 25, through June 2017, due to the Casey Arborway Project.

Beginning on Saturday, March 25, 2017 and running through June all Orange Line train service will arrive and depart from the western side of the Forest Hills platform (towards the Arboretum). Normal two track operation will continue immediately north of the station.

The MBTA has protocols in place to ensure that this temporary condition does not impact service. These protocols were implemented successfully at Forest Hills from September through December of 2016.

This approach allows work to take place without requiring nighttime and weekend bus diversions for train service which have an impact on riders. This temporary change in service will allow the Casey Arborway project team to install electrical components and build underground elements associated with the new head-house for Forest Hills Station.

When complete, the new headhouse will allow Orange Line riders to access transit service from the Southwest Corridor Park, Washington Street, and South Street without crossing the Arborway.

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