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Conservation Award for MassDOT Bridge Project

The National Park Service has recognized MassDOT Highway District 1 in the Berkshires and District Bridge Coordinator Ed Lausier as a "Conservation Hero" for the cooperative and adaptive approach used to design and replace the culvert at Shaker Mill Brook, McNerney Road, in Becket.

Green Line Extension Design Working Group

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Green Line Extension Environmental Assessment process. We appreciate your efforts and the time you took to publicize the process in your communities, write comment letters, and attend the public hearing. We will now work with the Federal Transit Administration to complete the environmental review process.

The next meeting of the Green Line Extension Design Working Group will be held on Wednesday, December 7, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, 51 Winthrop Street, Medford.

Date: 12/01/2011

South Coast Rail: New Bedford Bridges Completed

MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey this week joined local and regional officials to celebrate the successful completion of a $20 million project to reconstruct three structurally-deficient rail bridges critical to moving the South Coast Rail project forward.

"It is encouraging to see this important rail bridge project completed ahead of schedule,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Thanks to support from the Obama Administration and our Congressional partners, we were able to create jobs while taking an important step forward in advancing passenger rail service to the South Coast.”

The project was the first in the nation to begin construction after receiving federal Recovery Act Transportation Investment Generation Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant funds from the Obama Administration. The work began in October 2010 and was completed four months ahead of schedule. The reconstruction of the Deane Street, Sawyer Street and Coggeshall Street rail bridges represents the first completed phase of construction necessary to advance the South Coast Rail project. The projects created approximately 240 construction jobs.

The rebuilt bridges were constructed in 1907. They were badly deteriorated and limited only to light freight loads. Reconstruction of the century-old bridges will immediately enhance freight operations and improve vehicle traffic below while supporting future passenger rail for the region. In addition to the $20 million in competitive stimulus TIGER funds awarded for this project, Massachusetts also received a $32.5 million federal grant to support the design phase of the Boston South Station expansion project, which will support the South Coast Rail Project.

The rail bridges reconstruction project is among several investments in South Coast Rail by the Patrick-Murray Administration. The newly-released capital plan includes $8.3 million this year for continued planning and design of South Coast Rail. The Commonwealth has completed an historic agreement with CSX Transportation to purchase 30 miles of track from Taunton to Fall River and New Bedford necessary for South Coast Rail. MassDOT and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in November announced $275,000 in grants to 18 South Coast communities for technical assistance to implement the South Coast Rail Corridor Plan. The Corridor Plan identifies areas for protection and development in 31 communities. More information is available on the project website at www.southcoastrail.com


MBTA Ridership Continues Record Pace

Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis has announced that record numbers of riders continue to use the nation’s fifth busiest public transportation system. Weekday MBTA ridership for October increased by 3.2% over October 2010 and averaged 1.348 million passenger trips per weekday.

October's ridership was just shy of September’s record high of 1.349 million passenger trips. As back to back months, September and October represent the MBTA’s highest ridership in the modern record-keeping era.

Heavy ridership growth was seen on the Red, Orange, and Blue Lines, which exceeded September’s record high. Last month’s average of 555,000 weekday passenger trips on the Red, Orange, and Blue Lines was the highest in MBTA history. With average weekday ridership of 398,500, the T’s 180-route bus system had its busiest month in almost seven years. Ridership has been higher in 2011 compared to 2010 levels in 9 of 10 months.

Davis cited the state’s economic recovery and growing employment levels as factors in the T’s record ridership, along with the availability of real-time bus and subway train location information that has attracted new riders by making it easier and more convenient to use the MBTA. Check out MBTA fares online today.


RMV: License, ID Veterans Designation

A surprise compliance check of school transport vehicles in Hingham yielded 18 violations and two criminal complaints. MassDOT RMV inspectors teamed up with the Hingham police to perform the checks outside the South Shore Educational Collaborative.

Registry inspectors and police officers stopped 62 vehicles. Among the complaints filed- the driver of a South Shore Community Action Council van from Plymouth did not have a valid 7-D license. Driving without the required 7-D license carries a $500 fine.

Officers also issued citations for defective equipment such as bald tires and safety violations such as vehicle overloading and not ensuring that children are properly secured in car seats or seat belts.

Repeat offenders are called in for a hearing with RMV officers which could result in the suspension of their 7-D license.

Drivers of the so-called 7-D vehicles must undergo a criminal background check to apply for a special license. The 7-D vehicles, usually cargo vans and station wagons, must also undergo special inspections twice a year to ensure safety features are working properly.

RMV teams up with local police periodically for surprise 7D compliance checks. Earlier last month, the Registry teamed up with Brockton police to issue 17 citations townwide on buses, vans and station wagons carrying youngsters to Brockton elementary schools.


MassDOT Board December Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, December 7, 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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