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MassDOT January Board Meeting

Wednesday
January 29
MBTA Board Room
Suite 3830
10 Park Plaza, Boston
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

See a Pothole? Contact MassDOT

Potholes are the inevitable result of winter and early spring moisture and the freeze-thaw cycle. MassDOT crews throughout the Commonwealth are prepared each day to repair potholes that can damage vehicles and delay traffic.

We also appreciate the public’s help in telling us about pothole locations on state roads so that repairs can be made as quickly as possible.

Potholes result as water from snow and rain seeps into small cracks in the roadway surface. As temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands, making the cracks larger until potholes form. Heavy traffic, pavement age, vehicle weights, and snow and ice operations contribute to the problem.

Crews make two types of repairs, depending on temperature and road conditions. A temporary “cold patch” is used at lower temperatures during late winter. Hot mix asphalt is applied at higher temperatures as a long-term fix. MassDOT works closely with public safety officers and city and town officials to monitor potholes. We also appreciate reports from drivers.

If you see a pothole, please call MassDOT at 857-DOT-INFO (857-368-4636), Toll Free at 877-MA-DOT-GOV (877-623-6846), or visit our online contact information web page to send us an e-mail.

01/17/2014

BusPlus+ New Regional Services: Newburyport, Haverhill, Taunton

MassDOT this week announced new regional transportation services by Coach Company and Bloom’s Bus Lines are now in place as part of the new BusPlus+ program to increase the intercity and commuter transportation options available across the Commonwealth and all of New England.

BusPlus+ is a public/private partnership in which MassDOT provides new regional buses to private for-profit bus companies. The companies in return must deliver regional services improvements and will be responsible for all bus maintenance and operating costs. The federally-funded competitive grant program includes replacement of 31 regional buses with new, state-of-the-art vehicles.

New services now in effect include the following:

  • Coach Company: Newburyport to Boston- new round-trip Monday – Friday.
  • Coach Company: Haverhill, Groveland, Georgetown, Boxford, Topsfield, Peabody to Boston- new round-trip Monday – Friday.
  • Bloom’s Bus Lines: Taunton, Raynham, Easton, and West Bridgewater to Boston - five new round-trips, Monday – Friday, expected to begin January 21st

Additional new BusPlus+ services are expected to begin in early 2014 involving other bus companies serving numerous other communities across Massachusetts and the region

The regional service improvements provided through the new BusPlus+ service includes the creation of new routes, addition of stops to existing routes, extension of existing routes, and increased route frequency.

BusPlus+ is funded by a Federal Transit Administration State of Good Repair grant and will be overseen by MassDOT's Rail & Transit Division.

The initial BusPlus+ regional bus purchase is providing 31 new buses to carriers that currently or previously operated an IBCAP regional bus, including Peter Pan Bus Lines, Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, DATTCO, The Coach Company, Bloom Bus Lines, and Yankee Line, along with new private sector partner Greyhound.

New buses include the latest advances in safety and equipped with fully outfitted restrooms, increased leg room, new comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, and 110V power outlets at every seat. MassDOT through BusPlus+ is working towards the goal of providing a universal smart phone ticketing applications to all riders.


Burns Bridge Progress: Bird's Eye View

As of late Tuesday, January 14, traffic has been shifted from the existing Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge and onto the first half of the new replacement bridge.

The relocation of traffic is happening in two stages. The first stage shifted the two eastbound lanes onto the new bridge while westbound traffic remains on the old bridge, followed in the next few days by the second shift westbound. When all traffic has been moved to the new bridge, traffic conditions will be as they currently are with two eastbound and two westbound lanes maintained during all peak hours.

After the traffic shift has been completed, pedestrians will also be relocated onto the new sidewalk on the south side of the new structure. Pedestrians are reminded that once the old bridge closes, it will become part of the project’s work zone and will not offer a safe walkway between Worcester and Shrewsbury.

Demolition of the old Kenneth F. Burns Bridge will begin following the completed traffic shift. Demolition is currently anticipated to last approximately four months, followed by construction on the other half of the new bridge in the footprint of the original structure. When complete, the new Kenneth F. Burns Bridge will include three lanes in each direction.

The Kenneth F. Burns Bridge is being replaced through the Patrick Administration’s historic, $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP). For more information, please visit www.mass.gov/massdot/kenburnsbridge.


Bottleneck Relief Traffic Pattern Change Permanent

This past summer MassDOT implemented a right lane closure on I-95 Northbound, just south of the I-90 (Mass Pike) on-ramp. After an evaluation of the traffic volumes northbound on I-95, it is determined that a three lane section, between the I-95 exit (Exits 23, 24, 25) to the Mass Pike and the I-90 on ramp to I-95 Northbound has adequate capacity during the A.M. and P.M. peak hours to handle the traffic volumes. MassDOT implemented the aforementioned right lane closure on I-95 Northbound in order to mitigate traffic from I-90, Rte. 30 and Recreation Road trying to access I-95 North.

As a result of the study, MassDOT determined traffic delays on I-95 Northbound resulted in an additional 50 seconds of travel time between the Rte. 9 interchange and Rte. 20 interchange. Delays on I-95 Northbound south of Rte. 9 were not considered as part of the study area. Delays south of this point are impacted by ever-changing, unpredictable factors such as: breakdowns, police activity, and slow moving vehicles which compound delays.

The study also determined that delays decreased by 18.6 minutes from the Weston State Police Barracks to Rte. 20. This is a dramatic reduction in travel time for an Interstate highway and achieves MassDOT’s original project goal of delivering to our customers a low-cost, effective congestion reduction measure. Please read the full statement on the permanent change.

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