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Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT April
Board Meeting

April 11
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Suite 3830
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

Stormwater Management
Along the
Charles River

MassDOT’s mission is to provide a safe and reliable transportation system, while protecting and enhancing the environment wherever possible. One important way MassDOT works to enhance the environment is to improve the water quality of rivers and streams across the Commonwealth, including the Charles River, by upgrading its stormwater management system.

Read the entire Stormwater Management blog post.

So far 16 basins have been installed and several are currently in construction. Plantings and seeding are being incorporated throughout the work zones to enhance the appearance of the installations. The project's anticipated completion date is December 2016. These installations are just one example of MassDOT's continuing efforts to protect the environment and mitigate the impacts of highway runoff on adjacent waterbodies.

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March 25

MBTA Government Center Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

The MBTA celebrated the grand re-opening of the Government Center Station Monday at 11:45 a.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking two years spent reconstructing the station into a fully accessible, safer, modern, more comfortable facility.

The ceremony featured remarks by Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and others.

"The reopening of Government Center, done on-time and under budget, represents another step forward as the MBTA works to improve the core system for commuters and visitors alike," said Governor Baker. "This project reconnects City Hall Plaza and a key area of Downtown Boston to those here for business and leisure, with an increased focus on greater accessibility for all travelers."

The project, which combined improvements to the Green Line Station, Blue Line Station, and Cambridge Street/Government Center Plaza, brings Government Center Station into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) Agreement. Previously, access to and from the station was provided solely by stairways and escalators.

"The success of this project is a testament to the collaboration among all stakeholders, including state and local government and transit officials that went into making it a reality," said Lt. Governor Polito. "The new Government Center offers enhanced accessibility for riders and is a positive step for customer service delivery at the MBTA."

The station was closed in March 2014. During the two-year reconstruction, both Blue and Green Line trains passed through Government Center Station, but did not stop there. The T greatly appreciates the patience shown by our customers during that time.

"Crews have worked hard to keep our pledge to reopen the station in two years – a feat they were only able to accomplish by closing the entire station, rather than parts of it," said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. "We were able to work around any issues because we had the whole station available."

The reconstruction features a new head house structure as the primary entrance, raised code compliant platforms to provide accessible boarding of the Green Line low-floor trains, the introduction of new redundant elevators from the street to the Green Line level as well as from the Green Line level to the Blue Line level, new escalators, LED signage, a new and expanded fare collection area, upgraded back-up electrical power supply, improved interior finishes, mechanical systems, lighting, a public address system, and a new emergency exit structure on Cambridge Street.

The open, glass-covered design of the head house provides full views of the surrounding area and sites such as the Old North Church, and serves as a new landmark on City Hall Plaza, a marked departure from its old bunker-like head house. The design of the glass element was a major part of the coordination between the MBTA and the City of Boston, specifically the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

"This project provided an opportunity to not only address the key functional needs of the station, but also to add something special to City Hall Plaza," said Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.


Green Line Extension Working Group Meeting

The Green Line Extension Working Group has scheduled a meeting as follows:

Wednesday, March 30, 6:00-8:15pm, Somerville High School Auditorium, 81 Highland Avenue

Following a brief presentation by Green Line Extension Interim Program Manager, Jack Wright, the working group will lead a detailed discussion on critical areas of concern raised by the community about the ongoing reevaluation and redesign of the project.

Green Line Extension Working Group meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be open for public comment between 7:30 and 8:15pm. There will be a sign-in sheet at the reception desk for those wishing to make public comment. Due to the limited time allotted for public comment, we ask that your comments be focused on topics covered in the meeting and kept to less than two minutes.

As a reminder, Public Meetings have been scheduled through March, April and May to allow opportunity for comments.

The Working Group was formed to assist MassDOT and the MBTA with issues related to Green Line Extension station design, general construction, and other community concerns. The members represent the full length of the GLX corridor and also include MBTA, MassDOT, cities of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and Tufts University representatives.

Please check the Green Line Extension website for more information about the project, Working Group, and upcoming public meetings.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@glxinfo.com


Framingham-Worcester Commuter Rail Line: Railroad Ties to be Replaced

Track work is set to start on the Framingham-Worcester Line this month, with a goal of replacing 25,000-30,000 railroad ties while work to end the line’s heat-related speed restrictions wraps up. Keolis Commuter Services, which operates and maintains MBTA Commuter Rail, will be performing and overseeing much of this work, which is expected to have minimal impact on passengers. Most of the work will be performed mid-day to avoid peak commutes. Some speed restrictions will take place around the construction.

"Commuter rail"s performance on the Framingham-Worcester Line has improved dramatically thanks to the work we and the MBTA have already completed," said Keolis General Manager Gerald C. Francis. "This next round of track work will help move trains more efficiently and finally end the speed restrictions riders have dealt with for many years."

The track on the Framingham-Worcester Line was built and maintained by previous railroads using different design and maintenance standards than the MBTA. When the MBTA took control of the rail line in 2012, there were insufficient records available about the original installation of the rail, which helps engineers verify that the rail will respond to heat variations between winter and summer season.

To compensate for these unknowns, over the past two years the MBTA has either replaced rail or de-stressed sections of rail to ensure the safety of the Worcester Line. That work is ongoing this spring between Worcester and Framingham, and between Newtonville and Wellesley Farms. When complete, the commuter line will be free of speed restrictions.

At the same time, crews will start replacing 25,000-30,000 railroad ties between Newtonville and Southborough. Tie replacement will continue into the fall. In addition, the construction of the new Boston Landing Station will be taking place near the New Balance headquarters in Allston.

None of these projects are expected to impact peak service on the line, though off-peak service could be slowed by speed restrictions near construction zones.


Massachusetts Employers Recognized for Excellence in Commuter Options

The Baker Administration celebrated more than 220 Massachusetts businesses, colleges, and universities at the sixth annual Massachusetts Excellence in Commuter Options (ECO) Awards ceremony. Attendees were recognized for their efforts in promoting active, healthy, and sustainable travel options.

The event, held at historic Fenway Park, brings together businesses and institutions from across the Commonwealth that provide innovative programs and resources to encourage employees to travel by public transit, carpool, vanpool, bicycling, walking, or even teleworking. This year’s event recognized the largest number of employers to date.

"Massachusetts continues to be an innovator in promotion of shared use of infrastructure on roadways," said Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO, Stephanie Pollack. "By establishing numerous policies to emphasize consideration of all travel options when designing roadways, MassDOT has helped to reduce the amount of emissions put forth by single-occupancy vehicles throughout the Commonwealth."

The ECO Awards are hosted by MassDOT, in collaboration with MassRIDES, the Statewide Travel Options Program and MassCommute, the Massachusetts Council of Transportation Management Associations. MassRIDES and MassCommute actively support over 700 employer partners and member organizations across the Commonwealth in an effort to reduce drive-alone trips, while encouraging employees to travel by public transit, carpool, vanpool, bicycling, walking, or teleworking.

"It's important to recognize the role employers play in influencing employee commuting," said MassRIDES Director, Diane Hanson. "Because of these employers, MassRIDES and MassCommute are able to actively work with thousands of commuters to reduce vehicle emissions, traffic congestion, and commuting costs." MassCommute Executive Director, Julia Prange-Wallerce, echoed this sentiment, "We're excited to have new and returning employers at this year’s sixth annual ECO Awards. This awards ceremony is a great way to call attention to the efforts of these employers, as they continue to showcase their innovative commuter options initiatives."

View the list of winners on the MassDOT blog

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