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Weymouth: MassDOT Employee O'Donnell Honored

MassDOT, state and local officials today joined the family of the late Stephen T. O’Donnell to dedicate a stretch of Route 53 in Weymouth the Stephen T. O’Donnell Memorial Highway.

O’Donnell, a long time MassDOT employee, passed away two years ago today, September 14, 2010. O’Donnell’s career included years in Highway leadership and as a key contributor to the creation of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s historic Accelerated Bridge Program.

O’Donnell was also instrumental in Transportation Reform of 2009, breaking down barriers and integrating stand alone agencies to form the current MassDOT Highway Division. He also served as Commissioner of Public Works in the City of Quincy.

“Steve’s memory lives on in the Highway Division as an exemplary engineer and public servant,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. The Memorial Highway runs along Washington Street in Weymouth (Route 53) from the Hingham town line to Broad Street, a length of approximately three miles.

O’Donnell was a graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology and a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps.


State Rail Network Progress

Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray

Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray this week released a progress report,"Transforming the Rail Network for Economic and Community Development", describing accomplishments achieved as a result of the historic agreement with CSX Corporation.

“Transportation is the enabling network of our economy – it’s about getting people and businesses from one location to another,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “I have worked closely with many critical partners and stakeholders to advance the CSX agreement and invest in improved freight and commuter rail service. This progress report outlines how our rail system is evolving across the state, and simultaneously highlights the need to have continued conversations to enhance economic and community development in impacted regions.”

Improving the state’s transportation infrastructure has been a key priority of the Patrick-Murray Administration. As part of the Massachusetts State Rail Plan, the Administration has strategically invested close to $1 billion in the state’s rail system through competitive grants, public funds and private sector capital. These investments, some ongoing, represent the most significant improvements in the Commonwealth’s rail system as a whole in decades.

The historic agreement with CSX Corporation offers significant impacts to freight and rail service in Central Massachusetts, Metrowest, Western Massachusetts, Boston and South Coast regions. The compact is being finalized in two parts, beginning with an initial closing in June of 2010, which set in motion the permitting processes and infrastructure work needed to allow for the relocation of CSX operations.

The second closing, scheduled for early October will complete the full transaction.

Safe Routes to School Program: 500 Partners

Tyngsborough Ribbon Cutting

MassDOT this week announced that the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program has passed a historic milestone – the enrollment of its 500th Safe Routes Partner School. This is the first statewide Safe Routes to School Program to achieve this level of active participation. .

“MassDOT is excited to recognize Massachusetts as the first state to recruit 500 Safe Routes to School Partners. This achievement is a testament to the Commonwealth’s unique Safe Routes to School program structure, the efforts of program staff, and the commitment of our communities to make walking and bicycling safer and more widely used travel modes for our school children,” says MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola.

Approximately 230,000 students in grades K-8 in 147 communities now benefit from Massachusetts Safe Routes to School pedestrian safety initiatives and outreach education services. The 500th Partner School is the city of Woburn, which enrolled all ten of its elementary and middle schools with a combined student population of 3,351 students.

Safe Routes to School, by MassDOT's MassRIDES travel options program, provides to schools year-round pedestrian and bicycle safety education instruction. Schools are also eligible to receive infrastructure improvements that enhance student accessibility and safety.

The Safe Routes to School Program is a key component of the Healthy Transportation Compact, an initiative of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic transportation reform measure.

MassDOT and MassRIDES are determined to continue expanding the Safe Routes to School program. To find out how your school can participate, contact Samantha Fonseca-Moreira, Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Statewide Coordinator,

Bourne Bridges Honor Staff Sergeant Pucino

I-93 construction

MassDOT Highway Division Administrator Frank DePaola joined Senate President Therese Murray along with state and local officials and family members in Bourne for the dedication of the Staff Sergeant Matthew A. Pucino Bridges.

Governor Deval Patrick in July signed legislation designating the bridges in honor of Staff Sergeant Pucino, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009 when his mounted patrol unit was attacked with an IED.

“MassDOT is pleased to do its part in honoring Staff Sergeant Pucino and commemorating his service with the naming of these bridges,” said MassDOT Highway Division Administrator DePaola.

MassDOT created markers bearing the new designation of the Sagamore overpasses spanning U.S. Route 6 that cross over Meetinghouse Lane and the Scenic Highway.

MassDOT is now on Facebook!

Continuing our efforts to inform and engage the public about their transportation system, MassDOT has launched its first-ever Facebook page. Please “like” the page and share with friends. Our page can be accessed here:

MassDOT Board October Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, October 3, 1:00pm, North Adams City Hall, 10 Main Street, North Adams.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.

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