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For Immediate Release: 05/30/2012
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office
(617) 973-8472

Patrick-Murray Administration Awards Tornado Relief Funding for Springfield Road Repairs

State Boosts Emergency Repairs as One-Year Storm Anniversary Nears

SPRINGFIELD -  Today Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray joined Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey in Springfield to award $1.35 million in reimbursements to the City to fund essential storm damage repairs following the June 1, 2011 tornado. 

The funds for Springfield are part of $3.9 million in federal emergency funds available to reimburse eight communities for the cost of emergency repairs associated with the June 2011 storms.  The funds supported rebuilding of roads, sidewalks and debris removal.

“In the aftermath of the June 1st tornado, Springfield and other impacted municipalities are making great strides to revitalize their communities," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “There is more work to do, and our Administration is committed to supporting their recovery by reimbursing cities and towns for road repair damage and other rebuilding efforts.”

“MassDOT is pleased to help direct reimbursement funds for these unanticipated expenses,” said MassDOT Secretary Davey. “I want to express my appreciation for our MassDOT employees partnering with the workers and residents in the affected cities and towns to rebuild and renew.”

“The City of Springfield is very appreciative of the Governor Patrick, Lt. Governor Murray and Secretary Davey for their continued monetary reimbursement efforts, but more importantly their ongoing partnership in assisting our Springfield to rebuild bigger, better and stronger,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.

“To paraphrase an old saying, there is a light at the end of the tornado. On June 1, 2011, darkness descended upon the City of Springfield in the form of a series of tornadoes that devastated our City," Representative Cheryl Coakley-Rivera said. "Thanks to the indomitable spirit of the people of Springfield and the consistent support of the Patrick administration, we are slowly, but surely, rebuilding, reclaiming, and re-lighting our City.”

“This is great news for parts of my district that were impacted by last year’s June 1st tornado,” stated Representative Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.  “This will ease the strain placed on cities and towns who have already spent funds for clean-up and rebuilding after this devastating storm. We are grateful to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for their support in our recovery.”

Springfield is the first community to receive its award; however, reimbursement funding to Monson and Wilbraham is expected to be released in the coming days for emergency work on the following roadways:

·         Monson:  $519,000 - Ely Road, High Street, Main Street, Hampden Upper, Wilbraham Road

·         Wilbraham:  $956,000 - Main Street, Stony Hill Road, Tinkham Drive, Rochford Drive

MassDOT is also working to ensure the following communities receive their reimbursement funding and have all the tools necessary to complete the process in a timely manner:

·         West Springfield:  $200,000 - Union Street and Main Street

·         Brimfield:  $449,000 - Holland Road, East Brimfield Road, Warren Road, Main Street

·         Southbridge: $150,000- Pleasant Street/Airport Access Road

·         Sturbridge:  $172,000 - Fiske Hill Road

·         Westfield:  $70,000 - Shaker Road, Pontussic Road

In addition to reimbursements for emergency repairs, MassDOT and transportation partners on behalf of the Patrick-Murray Administration contributed efforts on numerous fronts to respond to the storm:

·   MassDOT crews offered direct support beginning in the first hours following the storms on June 1, 2011.  More than 20 MassDOT Highway employees from the Springfield-Northampton and Worcester areas provided emergency response including tree removal crews in Brimfield, Monson, and Palmer and more than a dozen dump trucks, front end loaders, chain saws and other equipment critical to the initial clean-up activities.

·   MassDOT Registry of Motor Vehicles offered western Massachusetts residents who lost their driver’s license or Massachusetts ID in the storm an opportunity to apply for a free duplicate.  Governor Deval Patrick ordered that the $25 fee associated with duplicate IDs and license be waived during the month of June 2011 for residents living in the communities impacted by the storms.

·   In 2011, Massport donated approximately $300,000 in windows, doors and other building materials to the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity.  The building materials were unused from the Boston Logan Residential Soundproofing Program.  Habitat for Humanity says at least 25 families whose homes were damaged in the storms received the materials to assist in home repair.

The Patrick-Murray Administration launched an immediate and comprehensive response to the June 1st tornadoes, and remains committed to helping impacted communities and residents use this crisis as an opportunity to rebuild, renew and rebound.  Following the state’s multi-faceted emergency efforts last spring, the administration has maintained its presence in the region, dedicated significant resources to rebuilding projects and partnered with federal and local officials to get business and homeowners back on their feet.  To date, individuals, homeowners and businesses have received more than $26.7 million in federal disaster assistance to cover uninsured losses.  The Department of Housing and Community Development helped hundreds of families find emergency shelter and has so far funded $525,000 in home repair.  The Division of Insurance served as a resource and advocate for consumers filing $200 million in claims.

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.