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For Immediate Release: 12/20/2011
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office
(617) 973-8472

MassDOT Announces Grant Awards for Communities in Franklin County

Funds will cover Tropical Storm Irene repair work in Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, and Heath

BOSTON--- Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey today announced communities in Franklin County will benefit from a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant awarded to MassDOT to cover emergency highway repairs in the wake of damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

“Communities in Berkshire, Bristol and Franklin counties worked diligently to return our roadways to safe conditions in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.  “Governor Patrick and I thank our federal partners for providing this emergency funding that will help impacted communities overcome challenges and move forward with critical cleanup and restoration.”

The $4.65 million FHWA grant award funds emergency repairs made to restore the flow of traffic as well as efforts to minimize damage and the repairs necessary to restore the roadway to its pre-disaster condition.

“Communities don’t bounce back from severe weather on the cheap or overnight and this investment is a big shot in the arm to get our roads fixed,” said U.S. Senator John Kerry.  

Massachusetts has been relentlessly pummeled by bad weather this year, taking a severe toll on the roadways that are essential for daily life and our economy,” said U.S. Senator Scott Brown. “I am very glad these funds were made available to communities that worked so diligently and quickly to get the damage repaired, keeping our roads safe.”

“Many roadways in Western Massachusetts were damaged during Tropical Storm Irene,” said Secretary Davey. “This grant award from the Federal Highway Administration is allowing MassDOT to reimburse the Commonwealth’s most affected communities for their repair efforts.”

"These communities have endured severe public safety hazards, as well as economic consequences, as a result of Tropical Storm Irene and it is good to see state and federal government agencies working together to make these emergency grants available," said Senator Stan Rosenberg.

“I appreciate greatly the efforts of the Patrick Administration to secure the necessary federal funds to restore our roadways across western Massachusetts,” said Senator Benjamin B. Downing.  “Communities throughout the region are still recovering from recent storms and these funds will go a long way to restoring our transportation infrastructure to pre-storm conditions.” 

The State of Emergency Declaration issued by Governor Deval Patrick, following the late August storm, and the efforts of the Massachusetts congressional delegation made Massachusetts eligible for the funding.

“The Irene natural disaster disrupted everyday life of travelers in the First Berkshire District," said Representative Gailanne Cariddi. "The award from this FHA grant program has assisted our municipalities to respond effectively in helping to rebuild our local roads, which has been critical for residents, businesses, every day travelers, and tourists during these challenging times.”

“Small towns in western Massachusetts were disproportionately hit during Irene. I am glad that the response has been so quick because the communities in Berkshire and Franklin counties surely need these funds,” said Representative Paul Mark.

"The extensive road damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene was especially severe in many small, rural communities with gravel roads and hilly terrain,” said Representative Stephen Kulik. “Conway is a good example of a town that experienced damage that is well beyond its ability to repair without financial help from the state and federal government, and I am extremely grateful that both Mass DOT and the US Department of Transportation are providing this invaluable assistance."

In Franklin County:

BUCKLAND

$110,000 for road repairs, wall repairs, highway lighting, and railings on Conway Street.

$75,000 for road repair and slope repair on Charlemont Road.

CHARLEMONT

$94,000 for road repair and slope repair on route 8A.

$75,000 for road repair and slope repair on South River Road.

COLRAIN     

$500,000 for road repair slope repair on Adamsville Road.

CONWAY

$20,000 for culvert repair and debris clean-up on Shelburne Falls Road.

$150,000 for drainage work, road repair and slope repair on North Poland Road.

$100,000 for drainage work, road repair, and ditch repair on Main Poland Road.

HEATH

$53,000 for work on route 8A.

$31,000 for work on Avery Brook Road.

$75,000 for work on West Branch Road.

For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot.