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E-ZPass Transponders Available in 2 AAA Offices

MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard Davey says, "MassDOT has a valuable partnership with AAA through its Registry Division, and now with E-ZPass. I am pleased we are able to provide a way for our mutual customers to easily register and start benefiting from the convenience of electronic tolling."

New account transponders are free, and a credit or debit card is required for the initial load of $20, and for future re-loads. The program applies only to new transponders - additional transponders can’t be added to an existing account. AAA branches in Saugus and Boston are open weekdays from 9am-5pm, and the Saugus branch is open from 9am-1pm Saturdays.


Fore River Bridge Project Begins

groundbreaking ceremony

Governor Deval Patrick broke ground on the start of construction to replace the Fore River Bridge connecting Quincy and Weymouth. The $244 million replacement project is one of five “megaprojects” funded through the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Accelerated Bridge Program. Since the program’s start in 2008, the number of structurally deficient bridges has declined approximately 20 percent.

The Fore River Bridge project replaces a temporary bridge constructed in 2002 with a new vertical-lift bridge. The Fore River channel will be widened to accommodate the vessels that serve the active petroleum terminal, and its vertical clearance in the down position will be higher to reduce the number of openings for sailboats. Design improvements will improve the aesthetics of the bridge.

“This project is an important link for South Shore drivers, but it is also an important corridor for the industrial shipping uses that need this bridge and this channel just as much,” said Secretary Davey. “The finished product will not only meet those needs, but will also have major upgrades to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists as well.”

The new bridge will consist of two, 12-foot wide travel lanes on each side and a five-foot bike lane on both sides. Pedestrian sidewalks will be six and a half feet wide on the bridge and expand to nine feet in width on the approaches to the bridge.

The joint venture selected for the project is JF White and Skanska-Koch. Completion is scheduled for fall 2016.

MBTA Commuter Rail: Mobile Ticketing

mTicket logo

Beginning this week, customers on four MBTA Commuter Rail Lines, north and west of Boston, are now able to use their smartphones instead of paper tickets to ride the train.

Under this first-in the nation mobile ticketing program, customers will be able to purchase tickets and passes using the MBTA mTicket app for iPhone and Android devices wherever they are. The tickets are displayed on the phone’s screen as a digital ‘flash pass’ or encrypted barcode. The system uses the JustRide mobile ticketing platform from Masabi US Ltd.

“The new MBTA mTicket application is the latest innovation from MassDOT and the MBTA.” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “Customers will now have the ability to purchase tickets without waiting in lines meaning they get more time back in their day and more control over their commute.”

With the new MBTA mTicket application, customers can purchase tickets in seconds via their smartphone. Once tickets are purchased, they will be stored digitally in their application’s ‘ticket wallet’ on the phone. With this new application, customers don’t have to worry about losing their ticket. If a smartphone is lost or replaced, tickets can be transferred effortlessly at any MBTA customer service location.

In the first phase of the pilot, MBTA commuter rail riders riding on the Lowell, Fitchburg, Haverhill, and Newbury/Rockport lines can purchase and use single or ten-ride tickets via their smartphone. The second phase of the pilot will expand the app to customers using the Commuter Boat and Worcester, Franklin, Fairmount, Providence, Greenbush, and Old Colony Commuter Rail Lines.

Randolph to Westwood: I-93/I-95 New Lane to Open

MassDOT construction crews this week opened portions of the newly constructed fourth travel lane on the section of interstate roadway between Randolph and Westwood.

The work is part of a $53.7 million project to widen a 5.5 mile section of Route I-93/Route I-95/Route 128 between Randolph and Westwood to provide an additional travel lane in each direction.

The job began in the summer of 2008 with final paving in early spring 2013. The contractor for the job is McCourt Construction Co., Inc.

“This was a tremendous undertaking that is nearing the finish line,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “We fully realize the important role transportation improvements can have on continued economic growth, and we expect the addition of the fourth travel lane to better handle the roadway’s volumes as well as have a positive impact on the region’s economy.”

Highway Administrator Frank DePaola said MassDOT’s said the roadway widening would make the roadway safer.

“Specifically, travel in the breakdown lane during peak travel hours will be discontinued in the new sections we are opening up,” Administrator DePaola said. “This means that the shoulder will only be used by emergency vehicles; and, more importantly, drivers will also not have to contend with one another when the hours allowing use of the breakdown lane end.”

The 5.5 mile project extends from Randolph on I-93 at the interchange with Route 24 (Exit 4) west, toward Canton Junction where I-93 ends and the roadway becomes I-95, continuing along I-95 to Route 109 (Exit 16) in Westwood.

MassDOT Board December Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, December 5, 1:00pm, MBTA Board Room, Suite 3830, 10 Park Plaza, Boston.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.

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