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June 19, 2017
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On the MassDOT Blog

MBTA: DeNooyer Receives WTS Boston Innovative Transportation Solutions Award

The MBTA is pleased to congratulate Senior Project Manager Ellen DeNooyer AIA, LEED AP in receiving the 2017 Innovative Transportation Solutions Award from the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Boston Chapter, an association for the professional advancement of women in transportation.

View the entire WTS Boston Innovative Transportation Solutions Award blog post.

The WTS Innovative Transportation Solutions Award is given to an individual for leading a project that makes a difference in the lives of a community and its users.

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June 16, 2017

New Chelsea Street Bridge Driver Notification System

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has announced it has activated a new notification system that uses real-time technology to trigger messaging on numerous road signs to inform drivers of the raising and lowering of the Chelsea Street Bridge which carries traffic between East Boston and Chelsea.

traffic sign

"Through our collaborative efforts with local municipal officials and members of the public, we have developed an early warning system that alerts drivers in real-time when the Chelsea Street bridge is being raised or lowered," said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. "This notification system is an important resource for members of the public and helps ensure drivers are able to make informed decisions and take the most appropriate routes when traveling to the places they need to get to throughout these local communities."

Using Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technology, an opening of the Chelsea Street Bridge will now activate eight roadway signs in the area that will read "Chelsea Street Bridge Closed Ahead." These eight signs are strategically located at points throughout Chelsea, East Boston and Revere in order to provide drivers with an appropriate amount of time to make informed decisions and seek alternate routes if necessary.

"The Chelsea Street Bridge is an important and heavily used link between the East Boston neighborhood and the City of Chelsea," said Boston Transportation Department Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca. "By notifying drivers when the bridge will be closed to traffic, this innovative new system will encourage drivers to seek alternate routes. As a result, the frequency of motor vehicles backing up on local streets while waiting for the bridge to re-open is expected to be reduced, and air quality will improve due to the decrease in emissions from idling vehicles."

"The City of Chelsea is very grateful to MassDOT for listening and responding to the City’s concerns about the negative impact upon local traffic, and Chelsea residents, whenever the Chelsea Bridge is closed," said Chelsea City Manager Thomas G. Ambrosino. "We are hopeful that this new early warning system will help to minimize gridlock and aggravation. It will certainly give motorists the opportunity to avoid roadways heading toward the bridge before they become clogged with traffic and the opportunity for detour is foreclosed."

The total cost for developing and installing the new notification system for the Chelsea Street Bridge was approximately $234,000. The bridge handles a daily volume of approximately 37,000 vehicles and is raised an average of 5 times per day to allow for the passage of incoming vessels. The Chelsea Street Bridge was constructed in 2012 and carries traffic on Chelsea Street over the Chelsea Creek. The bridge is approximately 450 feet in length and when raised has a vertical clearance of approximately 175 feet.

Lynn-Boston Summer Ferry Service to be Offered

Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, Senator Thomas M. McGee and Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC/Lynn) Executive Director James Cowdell announced that ferry service will resume this summer between Lynn and Boston.


Funding from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will be providing operational costs for the season, which will allow a ferry to operate weekdays beginning on Tuesday, June 20th, and until Friday, September 22nd.

“We are pleased to able to provide the needed additional resources for the City of Lynn to once again offer this seasonal ferry service, which will give residents and visitors yet another transportation option to and from the City of Lynn,” said Secretary Pollack. “MassDOT had been working for several months to assist the City of Lynn to secure a vessel for future ferry service and develop a sustainable business plan, and this summer’s service will allow the City an opportunity to build ridership. MassDOT is providing this support to the City of Lynn to mitigate the impact of Route 1A and Sumner Tunnel construction on commuters.”

This season’s Lynn Ferry service will consist of one morning peak hour departure from Lynn’s Blossom Street Extension at 7:45 a.m., arriving at Boston’s Long Wharf at 8:20 a.m., and one evening peak hour departure from Boston at 6:00 p.m., arriving in Lynn at 6:35 p.m. The cost for the 35-minute trip is $7 each way; $3.50 for children and seniors. Payment will be made on the boat, with cash and credit cards accepted. There will be food and drink for sale onboard.

The Lynn to Boston Ferry first began service with a two year pilot program in May 2014. Funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Seaport Advisory Council and in partnership with Boston Harbor Cruises as the operator, the Lynn Ferry completed the second of two years in the pilot program in 2015. During the 2014 season, the estimated total number of rides was 13,322 and during the 2015 season, the estimated number of rider taken was totaled 14,577.

After the successful two-year pilot program, the key to continuing this service on a permanent, year-round basis was determined to be the purchase of a vessel dedicated to Lynn’s ferry operations. A dedicated vessel will enable a more robust daily schedule and will better connect employees to jobs, students to institutions for higher education, elders and others to medical resources in Boston, and tourists to a region rich in history and recreational options.

Last spring, in an effort led by Congressman Moulton, and in partnership with state and local leaders, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded a $4.5 million dollar grant for the City of Lynn to purchase a dedicated vessel to support long-term ferry service. Additionally, MassDOT provided technical assistance resources this past winter for the City to develop a long-term sustainability plan for ferry operations, and is currently assisting with the procurement of the vessel.

As MassDOT and its consultants finalize this procurement using the FTA grant funds, this summer’s interim service will allow momentum and ridership to continue to grow.

Highway Director Tinlin Receives Ray LaHood Award from WTS Boston

Thomas Tinlin

MassDOT is pleased to announce that Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin is the recipient of the Honorable Ray LaHood Award from Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Boston Chapter, an association for the professional advancement of women in transportation.

The award was presented in Boston and is named for Ray LaHood, who served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation from 2009-2013. LaHood supported WTS International’s mission and made outstanding contributions towards the advancement of women and minorities. The Honorable Ray LaHood award honors a man who is a leader in transportation and has directly contributed toward the advancement of women and minorities through programs or opportunities in the transportation field.

"Tom is more than deserving of this honor," said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. "Tom has proven himself as a transportation leader who is known for his collaboration and willingness to engage all members of the public on initiatives and for important projects. Tom is a person who truly values listening to people, not just talking to them and, in particular, I have heard from many women and people of color who have worked with Tom, both through his job with the City of Boston and here at MassDOT, who have told me what an important supporter and mentor he has been. And for me personally, Tom has been an invaluable supporter, colleague and friend."

Administrator Tinlin is a South Boston native who came to MassDOT in January 2014 after being the longest serving Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department in the City’s history. In 2015, he was appointed Highway Administrator by Secretary Pollack. Under his leadership, MassDOT launched the Small Bridge Program, which funds small, municipally owned bridges in need of repair and the Commonwealth successfully transitioned last fall to All Electronic Tolling on I-90 with construction activities occurring in 23 work zones.

Norton: Plain Street Bridge Now Open


MassDOT has announced a major milestone in the $1.8 million project to replace the bridge carrying Plain Street over the Canoe River in Norton. The new bridge is now open to traffic.

The original bridge, which was constructed in 1960, was structurally deficient and in need of replacement. The new bridge is a precast concrete deck beam superstructure spanning 36.5 feet with driven steel pile foundations.

The new bridge includes sidewalks and has a higher vertical clearance over the Canoe River to allow for a more comfortable passage for kayakers and canoers. Construction for this project began in April 2016. MassDOT appreciates the patience of the public during the construction and looks forward to completing “next steps” including landscaping.

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