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On the MassDOT Blog

Tobin Bridge Work to Resume in April

The third year of the Tobin Bridge preservation project is set to begin in April, with lane restrictions in place through fall 2014.

Permanent lane restrictions are scheduled to take effect on Sunday, April 13, weather permitting. As in the previous two years of the project, the lane restrictions will remain in effect through the fall of 2014.

View the entire Tobin Bridge Work Blog Post.

April 11, 2014

Pothole and Winter Recovery Program Announced

The Patrick Administration announced the 2014 Pothole and Winter Recovery Program to support and accelerate the repair of potholes and other damage caused by the recent severe winter weather. The $40 million one-time program will assist all municipalities and MassDOT in performing necessary repairs on state and local roadways and facilities.

"We experienced an extraordinary winter season that caused damage to our roads, bridges, and vehicles well beyond the typical year," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. "This one-time, targeted program will speed repair and recovery and maintain safe travel for motorists."

"Our cities and towns already challenged by what seemed to be never ending snow and ice removal now face higher than expected costs in fixing streets, signs, and other transportation facilities," said MassDOT Highway Division Administrator Frank DePaola. "These funds to be spent immediately this spring and summer will allow all communities to make the most basic and necessary repairs and provide quick improvements for the traveling public."

The $40 million program includes $30 million allocated to all municipalities according to the same Chapter 90 formula used to provide longer term local road and bridge project funds. MassDOT will receive $10 million to address the greater than normal winter damage to Interstate highways and other state roads.

The Pothole and Winter Recovery Program is funded through existing FY2014 authorizations available to the department prior to the expected passage of the Transportation Bond Bill and requires all work to be completed by September of 2014.

MassDOT also appreciates the public's help throughout this winter season in reporting pothole locations on state roads, allowing repairs to be made as quickly as possible.

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.

Work Zone Speed Enforcement Patrols

MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey this week joined his team from the MassDOT Highway Division, the Massachusetts State Police, elected officials, the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and members of the construction industry to implore motorists to slow down and avoid all distractions when entering work zones.

"The investment in and the maintenance of our transportation network requires men and women to work alongside motor vehicles moving at a high rate of speed," said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. "We want to end this construction season with a spotless safety record and we need the public's help."

"Many sections of our nation's roads will be busy with workers and drivers in the coming months as construction activity picks up," said FHWA Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau. "By following the rules of the road in work zones, we can keep people safe during National Work Zone Awareness Week and all year long."

MassDOT and the Massachusetts State Police this year are continuing the Work Zone Speed Enforcement program at work zones across the Commonwealth. Since 2011, there have been more than 10,200 citations issued as part of the enforcement program including 1,016 violations of the Move Over Law, 6,749 speeding violations, 742 seatbelt violations, 92 arrests including 16 arrests for drivers suspected of operating under the influence.

For the first time this construction season, MassDOT will be deploying portable rumble strips array to slow traffic down in the approach to a lane drop on the highway and system of barrels or drums with a sequential light system that will better funnel traffic into a work zone.

"The lives of construction workers, inspectors, police and the motoring public are all at stake in the work zone," said John Pourbaix, Executive Director of Construction Industries of Massachusetts. "CIM enthusiastically welcomes the stepped up traffic enforcement against speeding because traffic cones and barrels alone do not protect against a distracted, impaired or speeding driver. At the end of the day, we want to make sure that every worker goes home safely to their family."

MassDOT Endorses Urban Street Design Guide

MassDOT has officially endorsed the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide in keeping with our commitment to sustainable transportation and creating pedestrian, bicycle, and transit-friendly streets.

"Our goal is to foster transportation decisions that balance the needs of all transportation users, expand mobility, improve public health, support a cleaner environment, and create stronger communities around the Commonwealth," said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. "The Urban Street Design Guide is a valuable tool, providing essential design principles for safe, multi-modal urban streets and attractive public spaces that embody our sustainability mission."

MassDOT is the second State Department of Transportation to officially endorse the Guide.

"MassDOT's commitment to complete streets and healthy transportation provides a strong framework for progress in communities across Massachusetts," said NACTO President and SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin. "Nationally, MassDOT's leadership will open the door for other State DOTs to endorse the Urban Street Design Guide."

In September 2013, MassDOT issued a Healthy Transportation Policy Directive formalizing the agency's commitment to multi-modalism and requiring that all MassDOT funded or designed projects seek to increase and encourage walking, bicycling and talking transit.

"The NACTO Urban Street Design Guide will be a great resource for Massachusetts. Because it offers so many different design options, it can be applied in different urban contexts across the Commonwealth," said Ned Codd, Assistant Secretary for GreenDOT. "It lays out in clear language the principles that go into building a sustainable, multi-modal urban street, and it provides great diagrams that can really help practitioners visualize how a street can look and operate."

"From the GreenDOT initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support smart growth development, to the agency's ambitious goal of tripling the share of trips made by bicycling, walking or taking transit in Massachusetts by 2030, MassDOT is a national leader in integrating environmental responsibility and quality of life goals into all transportation sectors," said Thomas J. Tinlin, Chief of Operations and Maintenance at MassDOT and former Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department.

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