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MassDOT September Board Meeting

Wednesday
September 25
MBTA Board Room
Suite 3830
10 Park Plaza, Boston
Full Meeting Schedule

On the Trans Blog

Longfellow Bridge: MBTA Weekend Impacts

The Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project will change MBTA Red Line service during five weekends through early November.

Due to the Longfellow Bridge Project, shuttle buses will make all station stops between Park Street and Kendall/MIT Stations on the following weekends:

Saturday and Sunday
August 10-11
August 24-25
October 19-20
Oct. 26-27
Nov. 2-3

View the bus route map, with affected stops: Kendall/MIT Station, Charles/MGH Station, and Park St. Station. Normal service will resume for the start of service on Mondays.

During weekend busing operations, bicyclists will be asked to walk their bicycles
across the bridge on the sidewalk for safety reasons.

View the entire Longfellow Bridge Detour Blog post


08/09/2013

Longfellow Bridge Project Celebrated
Secretary Davey speaking at podium by the Longfellow Bridge

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey this week joined Congressman Mike Capuano and Highway Administrator Frank DePaola along with federal, state and city officials to celebrate the kick off for the Longfellow Bridge Project.

The $255.5 million project funded from the Patrick Administration’s Accelerated Bridge Program will preserve the iconic bridge that connects Boston and Cambridge over the Charles River. The project includes rehabilitation of the structural steel elements and the preservation or restoration of the bridge’s architectural features, including the granite towers that prompted the nickname, the “Salt and Pepper Bridge.”

Throughout construction, the bridge will be configured with two bicycle lanes, one sidewalk, and one vehicular travel lane in the Boston-bound direction. Red Line service will be maintained throughout with the exception of up to 25 weekends over the three and a half year project.

After construction the bridge will be configured with two travel lanes in the Boston-bound direction, and one heading to Cambridge. The bridge will also have two sidewalks and two bicycle lanes in addition to Red Line service.

The project’s contractor is joint venture JF White-Skanska-Consigli. Preliminary work began in April 2013. Construction is expected to be complete in September 2016.


I-95 Whittier Bridge "Mega Project" Moves Forward
Whittier Groundbreaking

MassDOT Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Davey this week joined federal, state, and local officials to celebrate the official groundbreaking for the Patrick Administration’s Whittier Bridge Project on Interstate 95 in Salisbury, Newburyport and Amesbury.

The $292 million project is one of five “mega” projects in the historic Accelerated Bridge Program to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges. The design-build project will replace the existing 57-year old six-lane bridge over the Merrimack River with a new eight-lane structure that will also include bicycle and pedestrian lanes. The project will create or sustain approximately 400 direct construction jobs and 1,000 associated indirect jobs.

“The Whittier Bridge replacement project shows what we can accomplish when we invest in our transportation infrastructure,” said Governor Patrick. “Through the Accelerated Bridge Program, we are building for the next generation while creating economic opportunity and hundreds of jobs in the process.”

“The Governor’s Accelerated Bridge Program along with our other road and bridge investments have begun to reverse the decline in our transportation assets,” says Secretary Davey. “At the same time, the Whittier design-build contract is the latest example of our focus on completing more projects on a streamlined and ambitious schedule.”

The Whittier Bridge is one of just 14 infrastructure projects nationwide selected by the Obama Administration for an expedited permitting and environmental review process designed to move projects as quickly as possible from concept to construction and completion.


State Takes “Absolute Control” over Worcester to Boston Line
train at platform

MassDOT announced that the MBTA and its Commuter Rail contractor MBCR have completed the final steps in their acquisition of the CSX rail lines on which Worcester/Framingham commuter trains travel, opening up the line to increased service opportunities for passengers.

“By taking over the dispatching duties this week, the state can now give absolute priority to passenger service along the line,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey.

Dispatching is among the final elements of the agreement between CSX and the Commonwealth, which took ownership of the railroad right-of-way last year.

This week’s transition provides for multiple benefits:

  • MBCR has direct control (dispatching) of all train and maintenance activities on the 45-mile long line. Dispatchers at South Station can, and will, give priority to Commuter Rail trains over freight trains when necessary.
  • There is greater flexibility in managing train movements to address any operational situations, such as medical emergencies and downed trees, that may develop. In addition, Commuter Rail operators can now dispatch extra trains or extra engines without going through a cumbersome – and time consuming — paperwork process first.
  • Commuter Rail dispatchers can now communicate directly with train crews. Prior to this week, MBCR dispatchers would have to relay questions or directions through the CSX dispatchers in Selkirk, New York. This communication was not immediate and many times would delay response to unscheduled events along the line. It’s now easier to turn an ‘express’ train into a ‘local’ or a ‘local’ train into an ‘express’ train.
  • Heat-related speed restrictions will be significantly reduced. The CSX Corporation imposed speed restrictions on all of its railroads if temperatures exceeded ninety degrees anywhere on the East Coast. This corporate rule, which sometimes resulted in unnecessary delays along the Worcester/Framingham Line, no longer applies. In addition, stepped-up maintenance work will result in improved track conditions, making rails less susceptible to ‘heat kinks.’

The MBTA remains on schedule to increase to twenty the number of roundtrips between Worcester and Boston this year, fulfilling a commitment made earlier by the Patrick Administration.