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For Immediate Release: 01/11/2012
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office
(617) 973-8472

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Completion of Route 24 Interchange 8B in Freetown

New interchange project creates jobs, boosts area economy, providing access to Fall River Executive Park

BOSTON - The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced the completion and opening of Route 24 Interchange 8B, a signature project that created jobs while investing in the state’s infrastructure to enhance long term economic development. The $35 million project created a new exit and interchange, 8B, between the existing exits 8 and 9 on Route 24 in Freetown and is funded by the Obama Administration's federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). 

“The Route 24 Interchange 8B project is an example of transportation infrastructure investment supporting regional economic development,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.  “By partnering with the Obama Administration, federal stimulus funding combined with state funds helped to leverage critical investment for road improvements in the Fall River-Freetown area.”

“The Administration from day one has placed a high priority on rebuilding our state’s infrastructure and investing strategically to improve the Massachusetts economy, and there is no better example than the new Interchange 8B,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey.

The project will reduce congestion at exits 8, 9 and South Main Street while providing access to the new Fall River Executive Park. The project constructed a new street, Executive Park Drive, connecting Riggenbach Road and South Main Street and providing access to the Executive Park and the Exit 8B ramps. The project also includes a new bridge to carry Executive Park Drive over Route 24 and entrance and exit ramps to connect Route 24 north and southbound to Executive Park Drive. 

“This is a very important contribution to the infrastructure of southeastern Massachusetts, and it is a good example of how the wise use of tax dollars can help our economy,” said Congressman Barney Frank.

The project work began in early 2010 and has been completed on schedule in less than two years. To speed construction and minimize the disruption to the traveling public, MassDOT used an expedited design/build approach to construction management. The project created 80 direct construction jobs and an additional 80 through vendor and supplier services.

“I would like to first congratulate the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on effectively and successfully, completing the Route 24 interchange,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues. “I’m thrilled the job was done in record time and thankful that the state continues to invest in the SouthCoast’s infrastructure systems. The project will continue to help pave the way for economic growth, and have a positive impact on the Greater Fall River region.”

“The completion of this transportation and economic development resource is welcome news," said Representative David B. Sullivan. "It is a testament to a comprehensive cooperative regional effort of legislators, agencies, and organizations dedicated to enhancing our region’s transportation and economic development opportunities.”

"I would like to thank the Patrick-Murray administration and MassDOT for their commitment to the SouthCoast by providing the infrastructure necessary to promote economic growth not only for Freetown but for the entire region," said Representative Paul Schmid.

“The completion of interchange 8B represents a major achievement for economic development in our region," said Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan. "I applaud the Patrick-Murray Administration for completing this project in such a timely fashion. This will immediately help the City create jobs and expand our tax base.” 

"Freetown and Fall River are extremely fortunate to reap the benefits of federal stimulus money in creating Interchange 8B,” said Freetown Selectman Lisa A. Pacheco. "This is our gateway to boost economic development and create jobs for the area. This Administration has been steadfast in ensuring that the Southcoast Corridor becomes a vital component in improving Massachusetts economy. Freetown and Fall River are ready, willing and able to welcome the business.”

More information on the project is available on the web: http://www.massdotprojectroute248b.info/

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.