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MassDOT May Board Meeting

Wednesday
May 14
MBTA Board Room
Suite 3830
10 Park Plaza, Boston
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

Governor Patrick Announces "Go Time" Real Time Traffic System

Governor Deval Patrick announced that the "GO Time" real time traffic information system is now operational along Route 6 on Cape Cod and will be expanded to highways statewide by 2015. The Governor made today's announcement at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America's transportation symposium in Boston where he was awarded the organization's Smart Solution Spotlight Award for his Administration's work in developing intelligent transportation systems to create a safer, cleaner, more efficient and sustainable transportation system.

View the entire "Go Time" Real Time Traffic System Blog Post.

April 18, 2015

Holiday Weekend Travel

MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead, travel safely, and use public transportation where possible during the upcoming holiday weekend. Heavy traffic is expected due to Easter Sunday observances and Patriot's Day/Marathon Monday, April 21.

The heaviest traffic congestion on I-90 during busy holiday weekends is expected at the I-84 interchange at Exit 9 in Sturbridge and at Exit 11A, I-495.

Before you travel, we invite you to check the live Traffic Cameras web page to view current traffic.

The MassDOT "GO Time" real time traffic information signs are now live on Route 6 on Cape Cod, along with real time traffic signs previously posted along Interstate 93, eastern I-90 and Route 3 south to Cape Cod. The free Ride Wise Smartphone application also provides users access to real time traffic information on Interstate 93, sections of the Massachusetts Turnpike, Route 3 on the South Shore and Route 6/Mid-Cape Highway.

To save time, money and gas, motorists who have not yet done so are encouraged to join E-ZPass to avoid waiting in line at cash toll booths.

Free coffee will be served at all 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 pm Sunday night, April 20, through 5 am Monday morning, April 21. The plaza locations serving free coffee include:

  • I-90, all 11 service plazas
  • I-95, Lexington and Newton
  • Route 128, Beverly
  • Route 24, North and Southbound service plazas
  • Route 3, Plymouth
  • Route 6, Barnstable

The MBTA expects thousands of extra riders for the 2014 Boston Marathon on Patriots' Day, Monday, April 21. Customers are urged to take public transportation to and from the Marathon. The MBTA will enhance service to rush-hour levels before and after the race. Various bus routes on Marathon Monday on both the North and South sides will be diverted.

For the safety of customers, Copley and Arlington Stations will be CLOSED for the entire day, Monday, April 21. The Red, Orange, and Blue Lines will operate a regular weekday schedule with rush-hour levels of service before and after the race. Check the MBTA website for additional details.

MBTA: New Locomotive Now in Service

MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott this week at Boston North Station welcomed the first of 40 new Commuter Rail locomotives as it was placed into service on the Haverhill Line.

To replace existing locomotives between 35 and 40 years old, the MBTA is procuring forty new environmentally-friendly diesel-electric locomotives. Each will be rigorously tested and placed into service throughout the MBTA's twelve Commuter Rail lines as they arrive through summer of 2015, allowing for the oldest equipment to be decommissioned.

In August of 2010, the Authority awarded a contract to MotivePower, Inc. (MPI) for the procurement of forty new Diesel – Electric Passenger Locomotives. The locomotive was designed and built by MPI at their facility in Boise, Idaho for a total contract value of $222M. Easily recognized by their distinctive new look, the new locomotives feature modern amenities; including new communication systems and improvements to passenger comfort.

The forty new locomotives are compliant with current EPA Emission Standards and will help reduce carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter. Their engines are considerably more fuel efficient than the MBTA's older equipment with GE predicting up to a 6% increase in fuel efficiency. This is estimated to result in approximately 10,000 gallons of fuel saved per locomotive per year, resulting in over one million dollars in annual savings.

Freight Rail Grants Announced

The Patrick Administration this week announced the awarding of seven grants totaling $2.5 million for industrial rail projects as part of the 2014 Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP). The IRAP funding for the seven projects is being matched by more than $1.9 million in private sector funds for a total $4.5 million investment in freight rail improvements in the second year of the IRAP program.

The Industrial Rail Access Program created as part of the 2012 Transportation Bond Bill provides grants to railroads, rail shippers and municipalities providing public benefits through improved use of the rail transportation network or enhancing economic growth through rail access.

The Patrick Administration this week announced the awarding of seven grants totaling $2.5 million for industrial rail projects as part of the 2014 Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP). The IRAP funding for the seven projects is being matched by more than $1.9 million in private sector funds for a total $4.5 million investment in freight rail improvements in the second year of the IRAP program.

The Industrial Rail Access Program created as part of the 2012 Transportation Bond Bill provides grants to railroads, rail shippers and municipalities providing public benefits through improved use of the rail transportation network or enhancing economic growth through rail access.

"The Patrick Administration has made better access to freight rail service a priority," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. "The carefully selected projects are designed to work with regional and local transportation plans for the benefit of each community and area."

The seven 2014 IRAP recipients represent a variety of projects meeting the program objective of improving the rail network while boosting economic growth. Recipients and the state grant awarded are as follows:

  • Pioneer Valley Railroad - $310,032: Westfield - Easthampton Mainline Yard Capacity Project
  • Omnova Solutions - $500,000: Fitchburg - 123 Industrial Park Rail Siding Phase II rehabilitation on Pan Am Southern
  • PCA Systems/Holland Chemical - $351,300: Adams - rail siding, unloading system and storage shelter with road crossing on Pan Am Southern RR
  • North East Refrigerated Terminals - $474,618: Taunton- Mass Coastal RR siding rehabilitation & rail to trailer cross docking facility
  • Horizon Milling- $240,000: Ayer- upgrade existing "loop" track serving Nemco Way Industrial Park- Cargill/Horizon Milling & Catania Spagna in Ayer off Pan Am Freight mainline
  • Lenox Valley Waste Transfer Facility - $189,000: Lenox - rail siding extension and railcar loading/staging transfer station improvements on Housatonic RR
  • New England Central Railroad- $499,800: Palmer - Industrial Park Freight Capacity Expansion Project
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