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Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT June
Board Meeting

June 20
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Suite 3830
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

"Like New" Commuter Rail Engine With MassDOT Logo Joins Fleet

Say hello to this "like new" addition to the MBTA Commuter Rail fleet, the first locomotive in MassDOT colors and logo! The 29 year old locomotive has been overhauled with a brand new engine, its major components rebuilt following engine failure in 2014. While a new locomotive costs about $6.5 million, the cost of rebuilding this unit is less than $1 million.

View the entire "Like New" Commuter Rail Engine blog post.

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May 13, 2016

MassDOT, MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Boards Advance Green Line Extension Project

Green Line Extension

 

The MassDOT Board and MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board this week approved a motion which advances the Green Line Extension Project and seeks FTA review and approval.

Please check the Board Agendas and Reports online and review the full Green Line Extension Redesign Report which was presented to the Boards prior to the vote.


MassDOT & MBTA Boards Vote to Terminate Legacy Swaps, Debt Strategy Forecast to Save $235 Million

In the first step of executing a comprehensive debt restructuring strategy, the MassDOT Board and MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) voted unanimously to terminate five legacy floating-to-fixed rate interest swaps which were forecast to cost the MBTA more than $100 million in excess interest payments over the next 10 years.

MBTA Logo

By refinancing its high-rate interest swap and fixed-rate bond holdings, money saved over the long-term can be spent on capital investment and strengthening the MBTA's balance sheet.

Through comprehensive debt restructuring of both its fixed and variable rate debt to take advantage of historically low interest rates, the MBTA would realize savings of more than $235 million over the next decade. Like a family that refinances its home mortgage at a lower rate to allow for greater spending on other priorities, these savings allow the MBTA to create future debt capacity that would enable investment in key capital projects to improve the system.

"It is a very conservative approach," MassDOT Committee on Finance and Audit Chair Betsy Taylor said in support of the proposal during a presentation before the committee.

MBTA Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve outlined the debt strategy in a presentation Monday to the FMCB. A swap is a contract where two financial parties exchange interest rates, and is used to hedge against market volatility. Currently the MBTA holds a number of swaps from the mid-2000s that are costing tens-of-millions of dollars per year in interest above current market rates.

"By taking action today, we better position the MBTA to serve its customers in the future by putting the MBTA balance sheet on a more sustainable path," said Shortsleeve. "Unwinding bad trades is never easy. However, by addressing the issue head-on, the T is forecast to save more than $100 million in swap payments over the next decade."

If no action was taken, the swaps would continue to cost the MBTA tens-of-millions of dollars per year and future MBTA boards will be limited in their ability to make the borrowing and fiscal investment decisions for the agency. This action ensures that future MBTA boards and T management teams will not be hindered by legacy swap payments and will have maximum flexibility to finance growth capital investments that can enhance MBTA infrastructure and the experience of our riders.


2016 Northeast Transportation Safety Conference June 7-8

MassDOT is pleased to be a host for the 2016 Northeast Transportation Safety Conference on June 7-8 at the DCU Center in Worcester.

child on bicycle

State and local transportation safety and public safety representatives and members of the public are invited to join hundreds of individuals involved in all aspects of transportation safety. The Conference is an important opportunity to learn the latest advances being made in transportation safety and see the most innovative technology

The conference theme “The sum is greater than its parts” emphasizes the fact that education, awareness, and health, with enforcement and engineering, must be incorporated to move toward the transportation safety goal of zero deaths. The conference is hosted by MassDOT, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) and the Department of Public Health in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

This innovative conference will bring together transportation safety specialists from throughout the country involved in:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Research
  • Engineering
  • Advocacy
  • Fire
  • EMS
  • Automotive
  • Transit
  • State & Municipal Governments
  • Federal Government
  • Academia

Please visit the Conference website linked above to learn more and register.


Lexington: Route 2 I-95 Bridges Milestone: Traffic Shift

In another major project milestone for the Route 2 I-95 Bridges Project in Lexington, MassDOT will shift Route 2 westbound traffic to the new Route 2 West Bridge for the final phase of construction. The shift will take place in phases over the weekend beginning at 8:00 PM on Friday, May 13, and ending at 5:00 AM on Monday, May 16.

Ramps will be reopened in phases during this timeframe. The westbound traffic shift will allow the contractor to demolish the old Route 2 West Bridge.

Exit Closures:

The shift will require the following temporary exit closures:

  • Exit 52A from Route 2 West to I-95 South
  • Exit 52B from Route 2 West to I-95 North
  • Exit 29B from I-95 South to Route 2 West
  • Exit 29B from I-95 North to Route 2 West

The exit ramp closures are necessary so the contractor can modify them to align with the new roadway. During the closures, drivers should use the signed detour routes described below. Detour maps are also available on the project website.

For questions, please contact Donny Dailey, 617-945-4272, Donny.Dailey@state.ma.us, or the project field office, 781-790-5261. For more information, visit the project website link above.

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