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MassDOT December Board Meeting

December 11
MBTA Board Room
Suite 3830
10 Park Plaza, Boston
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

Thanksgiving Holiday
Travel Tips

MassDOT encourages Thanksgiving holiday travelers to plan ahead with record volume of traffic on our highways and at Boston Logan International Airport expected this year. Highways will be busiest on Tuesday, Nov. 26 and Wednesday Nov. 27 and on the Sunday after the holiday.

Plymouth Rock Assurance will sponsor free tolls at the Exit 19 Allston/Brighton interchange from 3-4 pm on Wednesday. Free coffee will be served at state service plazas on Thanksgiving night from 10pm to 5am on Friday, November 29.

The MBTA will operate on its regular weekday schedule on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 29. On Thursday, Nov. 28, the T will run on a Sunday schedule. The T will add additional service on all subway lines and the Silver Line. Residents are encouraged to use public transportation to get to and from Logan Airport.

Beginning Tuesday of Thanksgiving week and throughout the weekend, the MBTA will operate additional off-peak service to serve customers traveling to and from Logan Airport. Visit the rider tools page for apps that give customers information on the go.

View the entire Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Tips blog post.


Governor Patrick Announces Springfield I-91 Viaduct Project

Governor Deval Patrick in Springfield this week announced a $200 million investment in Phase 1 of the I-91 Springfield Viaduct project and additional funding to create a permanent home for Camp STAR Angelina at Forest Park. These investments in Greater Springfield will help unlock potential for additional economic and community development opportunities in the region.

"Growth requires investment, and moving forward on the I-91 viaduct project and upgrading our urban parks will create growth and opportunity in Springfield and beyond," said Governor Patrick. "If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well."

Once completed, the I-91 Springfield viaduct deck replacement project will increase safety and accessibility on the busy interstate. The bridge decks are currently in poor condition and in need of replacement. The elevated viaduct carries I-91 through Springfield with the I-291 Interchange to the north and State Street to the south. I-91 has an Average Daily Traffic volume of approximately 75,000 vehicles per day and 90,000 vehicles on the I-91/291 Interchange. The viaduct is the primary North-South route between Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, leading to extensive vacation traffic during the weekends in the summer and winter. Construction is slated to begin in November 2014 and the preliminary cost estimate for the project is $200 million.

MassDOT previously announced Phase 2 of the project, which allows MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning to begin a planning study that will identify existing issues and evaluate alternative alignments of I-91, including at-grade and below-grade alternatives, which may be less disruptive to the urban environment and could provide a regional highway connection that is more environmentally and financially sustainable in the long-term than the existing configuration. The I-91 viaduct currently is currently a barrier between downtown Springfield and the Connecticut River Riverwalk. The study’s developed alternatives will identify ways to strengthen both the multi-modal accommodations within Springfield and the connections between downtown Springfield and the waterfront.

Lowell: University Avenue Howe Bridge Opens

MassDOT Highway Division Administrator Frank DePaola joined local officials and Howe family members in celebrating the opening of the new Richard P. Howe Bridge on University Avenue in Lowell. The $32.5 million project replaced the bridge over the Merrimack River and Northern Canal. The new bridge is named in honor of Howe, who served for 40 years on the Lowell City Council including four terms as Mayor.

Pedestrian access to the new bridge will be limited to the westerly sidewalk while demolition at the northeast corner of the old bridge are complete and new wing wall and approach to the new bridge are completed. This work is expected to be completed in late spring 2014.

Remaining work includes demolition of the existing bridge superstructure and center pier and the north and south abutments, along with final paving at the northeast corner of University Avenue and VFW Highway and construction of the proposed outlook wall at the southwest quadrant of the old bridge.

MassDOT encourages drivers to reduce speed and use caution while traveling through the area of the new bridge.

MBTA: Government Center Station Project Work

The MBTA Government Center Station Rehabilitation Project moves forward with work that began this week to reconfigure area roads and sidewalks.

As a reminder, the station will remain OPEN through the completion of the closure of the Callahan Tunnel in March 2014. Government Center Station is scheduled to close for approximately two years for construction in spring 2014. Construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2016.

MBTA contractors will begin work on Cambridge Street, including removal of the median island from Sudbury Street. Work this week may also include modifying the triangular island at Court and Cambridge Streets and putting in the new temporary sidewalk along the City Hall side of Cambridge Street.

All street crossing locations will remain unchanged. Cambridge Street travel lanes will be maintained; however, the roadway alignment on the City Hall Plaza side may be shifted for new sidewalks and work zone area. Temporary and permanent parking restrictions will be put in place on the City Hall side of Cambridge Street.

The Government Center Station Rehabilitation Project will include new elevators from the surface to the Green Line level and from the Green Line level to the Blue Line level, renovations to both the Green Line and Blue Line platforms, a new station entrance and lobbies, a new emergency exit-only structure on Cambridge Street between Court and Sudbury Streets, improved circulation between the Green Line and Blue Line platforms, and reconstruction of Cambridge Street and a portion of City Hall plaza in the vicinity of the station to provide accessible paths of travel to the station.

For more information about the overall project please visit the Government Center Station Project website.

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