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Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT May
Board Meeting

May 8, 2017
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Second Floor Board Room
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

MassDOT Focus: Accessibility for Bicyclists, Pedestrians

MassDOT is continuing to focus on accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians with state-wide planning efforts underway and with a series of events and initiatives designed to encourage active transportation options.

View the entire Accessibility for Bicyclists and Pedestrians blog post.

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May 5, 2017

Governor Baker, Elected Officials Celebrate I-95/Dedham Street Corridor Groundbreaking

podium at construction site

Governor Charlie Baker, Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, members of the Massachusetts Legislature, and municipal officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the $44 million project to construct a new off-ramp from Interstate 95 onto Dedham Street and make multi-modal improvements to the Dedham Street corridor in Canton, Norwood, and Westwood for cyclists, pedestrians, drivers and users of public transit.

The Baker-Polito Administration’s Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will carry out this $44 million project to widen Dedham Street from two lanes to four lanes, improve three bridges, and construct three new signalized intersections. The project will also construct new bicycle lanes, sidewalks, street lighting, and protected crosswalks in order to accommodate all users of the roadway.

"We are proud to partner with our municipalities to support the construction of this project and improve the commute of pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and public transit users along Dedham Street," said Governor Baker. "Our administration will continue to invest in local infrastructure and public transportation to build stronger communities and enhance economic opportunities across the Commonwealth."

"Our administration is committed to strengthening transportation infrastructure and addressing local economic development priorities," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This project will increase safety and reliability for everyone who is travelling throughout this important region."

The upgrades on Dedham Street will improve access to nearby MBTA/Amtrak facilities and promote redevelopment in the University Station area and adjacent commercial properties. Additionally, the new I-95 northbound off-ramp to Dedham Street will reduce the number of vehicles entering the I-95/I-93 interchange in order to improve the performance of this major interchange and interstate corridor as well as remove cut-through traffic in Canton neighborhoods.

"We are proud to break ground on this important construction project and continue improving this corridor," said Secretary Pollack. "Through key infrastructure upgrades that offer increased opportunities for all modes of travel, we are continuing to improve accessibility and safety and ensure all our citizens are able to reach the places they need to be and the opportunities that build stronger communities."

This project is being carried out by MassDOT's contractor SPS New England and is expected to be completed in 2022. Traffic access will be maintained on Dedham Street throughout the duration of the project with at least one lane of travel open in each direction. The on-ramp to I-95 southbound is expected to be temporarily closed and re-opened early in the construction process and the new northbound off-ramp from I-95 is expected to be opened when the construction operations on the Dedham Street corridor are completed.

This project is part of the larger effort to improve the I-95/I-93 interchange and surrounding roadways in Canton, Dedham, Norwood and Westwood. In spring 2014, MassDOT completed construction on the new two lane off-ramp from I-95 northbound to I-93 northbound in order to remove a merge conflict. In spring 2016, MassDOT completed the reconstruction of the intersection of Canton Street with University Ave which included bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, as well as the reconstruction of I-95 southbound Blue Hill Drive off-ramp to improve safety and meet updated highway design standards.


Massachusetts Avenue Bridge Replacement Project Begins May 8

crumbling bridge face

MassDOT is proceeding forward with the project to replace the City of Boston owned Massachusetts Avenue Bridge that travels over Commonwealth Avenue (also known as the Tommy Leonard Bridge) in Boston and will begin work-related activities the week of May 8 in preparation for the closure of the westbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bypass that travels underneath Massachusetts Avenue on May 15. This closure is necessary to allow crews and contractors to safely and effectively conduct construction operations, and traffic traveling westbound will be detoured to remain on the Commonwealth Avenue surface roadway. This detour will remain in place throughout the duration of the project.

Work-related activities beginning on Monday, May 8, will consist of signage and safety control installation, tree protection, clearing, and temporary fencing installation. Construction operations throughout the spring are anticipated to consist of extended daytime work shifts for approximately six days per week and include replacing the deteriorated bridge facing, roadway slab, barriers, and reconstructing the bypass roadway under Massachusetts Avenue.

MassDOT and the City of Boston are continuing to coordinate the project schedule with other major construction projects in the area, and will evaluate construction progress to confirm the schedule for future phases. More information regarding upcoming construction activities or traffic shifts will be provided as it becomes available.

The scope of work for this project consists of replacing the bridge superstructure with prefabricated components. The project will also include making improvements to the substructure and installing new sidewalks, lighting, fences, and bicycle lanes on Massachusetts Avenue.

Those traveling through this active construction zone should expect possible delays, reduce speeds, and devote their full attention to what is on the road ahead of them. Proper signage will be present to notify travelers of the detour routes and construction operations. MassDOT encourages drivers to continue to plan ahead, follow posted speed limits and use technology tools such as travel apps to make informed decisions before leaving home.

Please visit the project website for more information and to view detour routes or to sign up for email advisories about traffic pattern changes.


South Coast Rail "Notice of Project Change" Public Meeting Scheduled

MassDOT will hold a public meeting on the South Coast Rail "Notice of Project Change" as follows:

Thursday, May 11, 6:30 p.m. Taunton High School auditorium, 50 Williams Street, Taunton.

MassDOT filed an SCR Notice of Project Change (NPC) on March 15, 2017, to adopt a phased approach to provide early service, years before revenue service is currently considered to be possible. Phase 1 will provide service from New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton to Boston by building the Southern Triangle, and using the Middleborough Secondary Line and the existing Middleborough/Lakeville Commuter Rail Line. For Phase 2, MassDOT will continue to advance the full Stoughton Electric Alternative design.

The first public meeting was held in Dartmouth on Thursday, April 13, 2017, and all content shown during the presentation on April 13 will be shown in Taunton on May 11. A copy of the public meeting presentation is now available. Please read more about the project, and download the NPC, a fact sheet (in English, Spanish and Portuguese) and public meeting flyer on the project website: www.mass.gov/southcoastrail

How to review and comment on the NPC:

Download the NPC from the link above. You can also review a copy at many South Coast libraries (please see the website for a complete list). To request a paper copy of the document, please contact Jean Fox by email (jean.fox@state.ma.us).

To comment on the NPC, please send a letter, postcard or email to MEPA by May 19, 2017, the last day comments are accepted:

Secretary Matthew A. Beaton, EOEEA Attn.: MEPA Office (Purvi Patel) 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900 Boston, MA 02114 fax: 617-626-1181 email: purvi.patel@state.ma.us or via hand delivery

MassDOT would like to receive a copy of your letter, which you can email or mail to: Jean Fox (jean.fox@state.ma.us)


MBTA: Discover the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line May 8-21

Map

Customers of the Fairmont Commuter Rail Line will travel free of charge for a two-week period in May. Customers will be able to board at station stops from Readville to South Stations and not pay a fare between Monday, May 8, and Friday, May 21.

"The Fairmont Line offers a fast and convenient way to travel between the neighborhoods of Hyde Park, Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, and into the city’s Financial District," said Acting MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve. "It's only a thirty minute trip from Readville to South Station for weekday morning customers taking the 7:15 train. For two weeks next month, we hope people take advantage of the fare-free service, and learn the benefits of quick and easy train travel."

"It's exciting to showcase the transit solutions afforded by the Fairmount Line," said Keolis General Manager and CEO David Scorey. "We look forward to demonstrating the value of the Commuter Rail to members of the Fairmount Line’s communities who otherwise may not have explored this convenient option."

This sponsored two-week period comes with the hope of highlighting the Fairmount Line as a convenient option for residents and employees of businesses. MBTA bus and subway options exist within the Fairmount corridor, but many members of the public may be unaware of the Fairmount Line and its station stops. The MBTA hopes this two-week period showcases the Fairmount Line as an excellent option for travel within the Fairmount corridor communities, to and from downtown, and as a connection to other MBTA services.

As the only Commuter Rail line that operates entirely within Boston, the Fairmount Line originates at South Station and station stops include Newmarket, Uphams Corner, Four Corners/Geneva Avenue, Talbot Avenue, Morton Street, Fairmount, and Readville. Seven of the Fairmont Line’s eight stations are zoned for a Zone 1A, which is a $2.25 one-way fare. The Fairmont Line operates seven days per week. An executed contract for the construction of a ninth station on the Fairmount Line at Blue Hill Avenue was approved in January 2017 with an anticipated opening of the station in 2019.

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