Governor Patrick: American Jobs Act Boosts Transportation Projects
Governor Deval Patrick this week called on Congress to pass President Obama’s American Jobs Act as he visited the nine-year-old temporary Fore River Bridge connecting Quincy and Weymouth.
The President’s plan includes more than $850 million for Massachusetts’ highway and transit modernization projects. With additional federal funds available to build a new Fore River Bridge and replace others across the state, MassDOT could replace an additional 19 structurally deficient bridges, reducing the current backlog.
“President Obama’s plan to invest in a better future directly benefits the residents and business of Massachusetts,” said Governor Patrick. “The American Jobs Act will put hundreds of millions of dollars into our roads and thousands of people to work. I thank the President for his partnership and call on Congress to pass this bill quickly.”
The Fore River Bridge project will build a new vertical lift bridge, with construction expected to begin in 2012. Currently, the state is expected to pay 20 percent of the project cost. Under the President’s bill, the project would be entirely federally-funded, freeing up state funds to invest in other structurally deficient bridges.
President Obama’s Jobs Act includes $50 billion to modernize highways, transit, rail and aviation, putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job. In Massachusetts, the President’s plan invests more than $850 million in highway and transit projects, supporting more than 11,100 local jobs.
The original Fore River Bridge built in 1936 was demolished in 2004 after it was found years earlier to have significantly deteriorated. A temporary bridge was erected to keep traffic moving along Route 3A.
Today, that temporary bridge is nearing the end of its intended lifespan and is in need of constant maintenance to remain open. The bridge is a primary connection between Quincy and Weymouth and carries more than 36,000 vehicles per day. The bridge spans a U.S. Coast Guard regulated navigable channel leading to a designated port area.
The replacement of the Fore River Bridge is part of Governor Patrick's Accelerated Bridge Program to repair or replace structurally-deficient bridges across the Commonwealth. The Fore River Bridge Project is one of the largest in the program.
To learn more, visit the Fore River Bridge project website.