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Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT May
Board Meeting

May 9
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Suite 3830
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

Arsenal Street Corridor Study

MassDOT is working with Watertown officials, residents and business owners to study ways to improve travel through the Arsenal Street Corridor. Arsenal Street directly connects Watertown with neighboring communities, including Waltham, Cambridge, Newton and Boston.

View the entire Arsenal Street Corridor Study blog post.

As the study advances, MassDOT will host two more public meetings and convene four more Working Group meetings. The Working Group and project staff appreciate hearing about your local goals and experiences. For more information on how to participate in future meetings, be added to the project mailing list or share your own ideas, please visit the study website.

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April 22

MassDOT Capital Investment Plan Public Meetings Begin April 25

MassDOT will hold a series of meetings throughout the state to solicit public input on its draft five-year, multi-billion dollar Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for long-term highway, aeronautics, rail and transit investments.

The meetings will begin April 25, in Fitchburg, and run through the month of May. This program makes long-term, multi-modal investments that cover all MassDOT highway and municipal projects, municipal and regional airports, rail and transit, including the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities, as well as the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

You are invited to review the CIP presentation. Public comments may be submitted via email:

The CIP for FY2017-2021 includes funding for the following initiatives:

  • $2 billion bridge program that will reduce the proportion of bridges that are structurally deficient to under 5%
  • $50 million Municipal Bridge Program
  • 60% increase in spending on non-interstate highway pavement in response to recent asset management report.
  • $60 million to fund high priority projects from upcoming bicycle and pedestrian modal plans.
  • Programs funding to complete federally-required Positive Train Control on commuter rail system.
  • Programs the funding needed for the state share of the Green Line Extension (GLX) Full Funding Grant Agreement.
  • Funds the continuance of South Coast Rail early action projects, advancing design, and beginning permitting.
  • Programs $15 million for the continuation of the Industrial Rail Access Program.
  • Invests in over $200 million in reliability improvements at the Commonwealth’s municipal airports.

Check the complete Public meeting schedule.

Worcester, Shrewsbury: Burns Bridge Wins National Award

MassDOT announced that the Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge replacement project has been chosen as the American Public Works Association's "Public Works Project of the Year." The $144 million project fully replaced the old Burns Bridge over Lake Quinsigamond and links Shrewsbury to Worcester.

New Burns Bridge

"We are grateful to the American Public Works Association for recognizing this project," said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.

"The Burns Bridge is an example of how MassDOT is approaching new construction with the priority of building projects to take into consideration all modes of transportation and also the needs of the surrounding community. The people who use our infrastructure are the central focus of how we are building our infrastructure."

The bridge was part of MassDOT's Accelerated Bridge Program and was substantially completed four months ahead of schedule in summer of 2015. The bridge was also completed on budget.

The previous bridge was deemed structurally deficient, was quickly deteriorating and required expensive maintenance to keep it in service. The new bridge allows for improved traffic flow on Route 9 and provides easier access to UMass Memorial Medical Center. The bridge includes bike lanes and pedestrian overlooks for viewing rowing and boating events. For the first time since the lake existed, sailboats will be able to pass under the bridge.

MBTA: New Commuter Rail Schedules Begin May 23

Following a robust public comment period, the MBTA has released new commuter rail schedules that will take effect on May 23. The changes are designed to improve performance and allow for greater schedule reliability.

The changes will improve passengers’ experience through consistent arrival and departure times, and additional express service. No major changes have been made to the T's commuter rail schedules in decades, despite ridership changes and infrastructure improvements. These changes were developed using computer-based rail simulations, field testing and improved operations policies.

A new North Side draft schedule was initially rolled out in November 2015, and altered to reflect public comment and concerns. Customer comments were solicited during a public information period conducted from January 7 through February 22, which included eight public meetings held throughout the commuter rail service area. Over 9,000 comments were also solicited online via web survey and email.

"After hearing feedback at public meetings and receiving thousands of comments from our customers, we have adjusted some schedules in order to better serve the people who use our commuter rail system," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack." This comprehensive update - the most substantive changes in decades – will lead to improved service and customer dependability."

Service reliability is of paramount importance to customers and is a critical factor in the MBTA’s efforts to attract more riders to the commuter rail system. By effectively managing existing train sets to benefit the greatest number of customers, the MBTA has developed more realistic and dependable schedules on which daily commuters can rely

Celebrate Earth Month with Green Commuting

One of the primary goals of MassRIDES is to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality throughout the state. Massachusetts ranked fourth in the 'Bicycle Friendly' rankings last year, and has a number of options for alternative travel including buses, trains, carpooling, vanpooling, and walking. Earth Month is a great time to join the effort in reducing traffic and improving air quality by choosing green travel modes.

The transportation sector is responsible for 27% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions, second only to electricity. From 1990 to 2013, the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions rose more overall than any other sector.

Earth Month is a great way to try a new and potentially greener transportation option—one that you can look to add into your daily, weekly, or monthly travels. Together, we can reduce the number of single occupancy trips we take, recycle old bikes at one of the state’s bike drives, and save our money by splitting costs through carpooling and vanpooling. Opting for a green commute will not only help improve the environment and our air quality, but it may also save money and time. More green trips could mean more personal time, a chance to catch up on your favorite shows or books, and spending more time with friends and family.

As we take reoccurring green trips—whether it be to work, the store, or somewhere else—make sure to set a repeat trip in the trip calendar on NuRide, the state’s ride matching and rewards program, to capitalize on the local and national rewards you’ll receive as you accrue points for your green travel. NuRide is a free program for those of you who live or work in the Commonwealth. By logging your green trips in NuRide, you’re helping Massachusetts to see overall environmental savings. What’s more is that you can see your individual savings and even get rewards at local and national venues for choosing to be green. With so many shades of green to Earth Month, now is the perfect time to try a green travel mode to help save money and the environment.

Happy Earth Month, Bay Staters!

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