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Veterans Memorial Bridge All Lanes Open

memorial bridge

All lanes of the new Veterans Memorial Bridge carrying Route 6 over the Taunton River between Somerset and Fall River are now opened to traffic. The eastbound lanes opened Tuesday, less than one month after the westbound lanes opened in September. The $292.6 million bridge project includes a new a four-leaf bascule bridge that will improve traffic on the roads and on the waterway, with a horizontal clearance of 200 feet and a vertical clearance of 60 feet with the bascule leaves in the closed position.


Charles River Basin "Connectivity" Public Meeting
MassDOT and the Department of Conservation and Recreation scheduled three Public Information Meetings to discuss the Charles River Basin Connectivity Study. The meetings will provide an overview of the Charles River Basin Connectivity Study and gather public comment. Two meetings were held this week. One meeting is scheduled for next week:
Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 6:30 to 8 PM, Morse School Auditorium, 40 Granite Street, Cambridge


Date: 10/14/2011

Whittier Bridge Project Chosen for Expedited Review

whittier bridge imageThe Patrick-Murray Administration’s Whittier Bridge Project on Interstate 95 in Salisbury, Newburyport and Amesbury is among 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.

 The estimated $285 million design-build project is one of the largest in the Patrick-Murray Administration’s historic Accelerated Bridge Program to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges.

 The 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 Obama Administration announcement calls for accelerated permit review and approval within six months for the Whittier Bridge project. Following an extensive public outreach process, MassDOT submitted the required Environmental Assessment/Draft Environmental Impact Report to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for review in June 2011.
 
The expedited review process is expected to allow the project to be advertised for bid in spring 2012.
 
The Whittier Bridge project will also include extensive roadway widening construction. A minimum of three lanes in each direction will be maintained during the peak traffic hours. The project will be designed to minimize right-of-way and environmental impacts.

RMV Urges Customers: Renew Online

renew online

MassDOT RMV is again urging eligible drivers to renew their licenses online.

The number of license renewals is expected to increase by 50 percent beginning in November and continue at higher levels for the months thereafter.
 
November is the beginning of a five-year license renewal cycle that began in 1991, replacing the previous four-year cycle. The result of that change is one year every five years with a reduced number of license renewals. That lower volume year ends as of November 1, and transactions will increase. The RMV has responded by launching a publicity campaign through Highway Division billboards and public service announcements at the MBTA to urge drivers to check their license expiration dates and renew online.

The goal of the campaign is to let the public know that approximately 50% percent of drivers are eligible to renew their license online and avoid a branch visit. It also reminds customers that they can renew their licenses up to one year before the expiration date that falls on their birthday.

The RMV’s online renewal application asks customers a series of questions. Customers eligible to renew online can pay the required fee and their license will be mailed to them in 7-10 business days. The online application also helps customers that aren’t eligible to renew via the Internet. The web transaction informs customers 75 years or older that they must renew at a branch, in accordance with the 2010 Safe Driving Law. It also informs customers if they owe parking tickets or excise bills that have to be paid in order to renew. Customers that are required to renew in a branch can complete and print the web application to save time during their visit.

Customers not able to renew online should plan ahead and check branch locations and wait times online. To help prepare for the expected increase in customers, RMV recently expanded its hours at some of its busiest branches. The RMV website allows customers to check branch wait times and locations.


Safe Routes to School: Lexington

lexingtom safe routes

MassDOT joined students, parents, and city and school officials this week at Lexington's Bowman Elementary School for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the completion of access and safety improvements as part of the Safe Routes to School Program that will better enable children to walk or bicycle to school.

Bowman Elementary School is one of more than 400 schools in over 120 communities partnering with MassDOT's Safe Route to School Program to work with students, parents, school staff, and local police to promote walking and bicycling to school, thereby improving student health, traffic congestion, and air quality. Schools that partner with MassDOT are eligible for federal funding to build infrastructure projects specifically targeted at helping children get to school safely and conveniently

The Bowman Elementary School project includes steps to slow vehicle traffic, manage street crossings, and improve sidewalk conditions. Specific enhancements include new sidewalks and curbing along Philip Road, Lantern Lane, Dawes Road, Buckman Drive, and Pleasant Street. A half-mile of new sidewalks have been built and are now open for public use.

MassDOT's on-call team of school engineers, planners, and bicycle/pedestrian experts plan, design, and build targeted infrastructure improvements that enhance access to elementary and middle schools, analyzing current travel patterns and conditions and safety problems in working with school officials, parents, and community leaders to design and construct enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access to schools.

Safe Routes to School is federally-funded and administered by the MassRIDES travel options program on behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. To find out how your school can participate, contact Rebecca Cyr at rebecca.cyr@state.ma.us or visit www.mass.gov/massdot/saferoutes.


MassDOT Board November Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, November 2, 1:00pm, MBTA Board Room, Suite 3910, State Transportation Building, Boston.    

 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.

http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/BoardsCommittees/BoardofDirectors/BoardMeetings.aspx

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