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GreenDOT Open Houses Set

MassDOT open houses continue next week to talk with the public and other stakeholders about MassDOT efforts to build sustainability into transportation services. The Draft GreenDOT Implementation Plan is posted on MassDOT’s website, and Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey invites public comment on the plan.

GreenDOT's objectives are to reduce greenhouse gases, promote healthy transportation options, and support smart growth development.

The implementation plan includes seven themes and 15 broad sets of goals. MassDOT will work to implement three to five tasks or projects for each goal over the next eight years.

MassDOT staff members, regional transportation partners and advocates will participate in the open houses. Please stop by, learn more about GreenDOT and share ideas and concerns. Comments on the draft implementation plan are requested by August 2. Open houses include:

Lowell – Wednesday, July 25, 5:00– 6:30 pm, Rogers School, Room 54, 43 Highland Street

Amherst – Thursday, July 26, 5:00– 6:30 pm, Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk


North Bank Pedestrian Bridge Grand Opening

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Governor Deval Patrick celebrated the completion of the North Bank pedestrian bridge, connecting Paul Revere Park in Charlestown to North Point Park in Cambridge. Funded through the Obama Administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the long-awaited $9.5 million project will provide thousands of pedestrians with a safe, accessible and quick route between Cambridge and Charlestown.

“I am proud to celebrate the completion of the North Point Bridge which brings together our communities and encourages residents and visitors to make use of outdoor spaces,” said Governor Patrick. “As one of the first shovel ready projects awarded funding by the Obama Administration through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this bridge is an investment for generations to come.”

In 1993, the Turnpike Authority agreed to allocate funds to the construction of the connecting bridges after the Central Artery/Tunnel Project was completed. After several years with no progress, the North Bank Bridge Project received federal stimulus ARRA funding in 2009 and construction began in 2010. Construction was completed in spring 2012.

The pedestrian bridge is open to biking and rollerblading, in addition to walking or running, giving the public greater access to the parks. Prior to the bridge’s construction, traveling on foot from North Point Park to Paul Revere Park would take roughly 25 minutes. The new bridge reduces the time to less than five minutes.

Green Line Extension: Environmental Approval

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MassDOT and the MBTA received full federal environmental approval for the Green Line Extension project, a major milestone for the project. The Federal Transit Administration released a Finding of No Significant Impact for the project, reaffirming its myriad environmental, mobility, economic development, and community-building benefits. Federal environmental clearance is the culmination of several years of technical work done by MassDOT and the MBTA with close cooperation from the Cities of Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford, as well as the participation of hundreds of individuals and local organizations.

The Finding of No Significant Impact is available on the Green Line Extension project website.

The release of the Finding of No Significant Impact was preceded by preliminary approval for federal funding to support the construction of the Green Line Extension. MassDOT and the MBTA are applying for ‘New Starts’ monies from the Federal Transit Administration to fund approximately one-half of the full costs of the engineering and construction of the Green Line Extension project. The New Starts program is one of the most competitive funding programs in the nation, and MassDOT and the MBTA have spent four years preparing application materials in support of the Green Line Extension.

The MBTA now may be able to seek reimbursement from the Federal Transit Administration for Green Line Extension project costs. Final authority to seek New Starts program reimbursements requires successfully competing against other public transit projects. That requires the Green Line Extension project to clear three additional hurdles – FTA approval for entry into Final Design and then approval for Construction, followed by the execution of a Full Funding Grant Agreement. MassDOT and the MBTA are committed to continuing to work towards that goal.

Route 2 Reconstruction Named "Project of the Year"

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MassDOT's Route 2 Hurricane Irene Emergency Repairs Project has been named a 2012 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA), a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 28,500 members involved in the field of public works.

MassDOT's Highway Division and primary contractors JX Maxymillian, Inc., Northern Construction, ET&L Corp., and R. Bates & Sons received the honors. MassDOT's Project of the Year award is in the Disasters/Emergency Construction/Repair category.

The 2011 Hurricane Irene Repairs Project reconstructed Route 2 following floodwaters’ extreme damage in the towns of North Adams, Florida, Savoy, and Charlemont. The storm damaged bridges, destabilized embankments, washed out pavement, and covered roads with dirt and storm debris. Route 2 was closed from mile marker 21.6 in Florida to mile marker 27.4 in Charlemont, and portions were reduced to one lane with only a temporary signal that allowed alternating traffic.

MassDOT engineers mobilized immediately by assessing damage, designing repairs, and developing emergency repair work orders. The first contractor, J.H. Maxymillian, began to clear the roadway and within weeks contractors were working to stabilize and repair slopes and retaining walls. By mid-November, MassDOT had advanced the bridge project, including slope repairs adjacent to the bridge.

Just 110 days after the storm, all portions of Route 2 were reopened to traffic. MassDOT provided frequent public outreach activities to keep the public informed of road conditions and the construction schedule.

According to APWA, "the outstanding accomplishment of the Hurricane Irene Repairs Project was its completion in a short amount of time. MassDOT had accelerated the design of repairs and the procurement to get crews started right away. Four crews worked around the clock as needed to get the work done as soon as possible. MassDOT and the contractors completed the work on schedule despite an unusual October snowstorm that dumped two feet of heavy snow on the area."

MassDOT Board August Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, August 8, 1:00pm, Gloucester City Hall.    

The MBTA Board will meet first at 1pm, followed by the MassDOT Board. All meetings are open to the public.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.

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