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Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT November
Board Meeting

November 21
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Second Floor Board Room
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

MAPFRE and MassDOT Offer Five Safety Tips and Statistics for National Teen Driver Safety Week
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Guest Blog Written By Patrick McDonald, CPCU, AIM, AIS
Executive Vice President - Business & Clients
MAPFRE Insurance

At MAPFRE Insurance, road safety is of the utmost importance. We understand that teen drivers, being new to the roads, are more susceptible to accidents, incidents, and resulting injuries. In fact, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers of 20 years of age or older. In addition, teens driving with passengers and newly licensed teens are at higher crash risk than any other group of teens.

View the entire Five Safety Tips and Statistics for National Teen Driver Safety blog post.

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October 14, 2016

Toll Plaza Demolition, Reconstruction Public Meetings Continue

MassDOT will begin the demolition of all existing toll plazas on October 28, 2016 as part of the implementation of All Electronic Tolling (AET) along the Massachusetts Turnpike.

group photo

MassDOT is holding public meetings to provide information about what to expect as the toll booths are eliminated. Within the project overview, MassDOT will discuss: demolition process, timeline, hours of construction operations, traffic and noise impacts, material disposition and other project related issues. These meetings will ensure that users of the Massachusetts Turnpike and neighboring communities are fully informed about the construction process to minimize any public inconvenience.

All meetings will be held from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. and are scheduled as follows:

  • Tuesday, October 18th - Westborough, Town Hall, 34 West Main Street. Plaza Focus: Sturbridge / I-84, Worcester/Auburn/I-290, Worcester/Rt. 146, Worcester/Millbury, Westborough/I-495, Framingham, Natick/Rt. 30
  • Wednesday, October 19th - Brighton, WGBH - Yawkey Theater, One Guest Street. Plaza Focus: Weston, Allston/Brighton, Ted Williams Tunnel

If you are unable to attend a meeting, a copy of the presentation will be available on the All Electronic Tolling web page linked above. Public comments and questions may also be submitted by email AETinfo@dot.state.ma.us.


Sumner Tunnel All Electronic Tolling, Plaza Demolition Public Meeting

MassDOT will also begin All Electronic Tolling (AET) in the Sumner Tunnel effective October 28, 2016.

toll gantry

In preparation for the transition, MassDOT will host a Sumner Tunnel Entrance Reconstruction and Toll Plaza Demolition Project Public Information Meeting to provide information about the proposed design of the tunnel entrance and toll booth elimination which will begin at a later date:

Monday, October 17, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., East Boston High School Auditorium, 86 White Street, East Boston

Within the project overview, MassDOT will discuss the design and construction process including: timeline of the toll booth demolition process, the alternatives analysis for the design of the Sumner Tunnel entrance, and construction impacts such as traffic and noise, material disposition and other project related issues.

This meeting will ensure that users of the Sumner Tunnel and neighboring communities are fully informed about the project and design and construction process to minimize any public inconvenience.

If you are unable to attend a meeting, a copy of the presentation will be available on the All Electronic Tolling web page. Public comments and questions may also be submitted by email AETinfo@dot.state.ma.us.


Fall River Milestone: Opening of Three Lanes on I-195 Braga Bridge Eastbound

MassDOT announced a major milestone in the Route 79/Braga Bridge Improvements Project with the official opening of all three lanes of I-195 Eastbound on the Braga Bridge. The barrier was removed and all three lanes opened to traffic as of 7:00 a.m., Friday, October 7, 2016. The opening of all lanes eastbound follows completion of paving and lane striping.

traffic on bridge

"The over $227 million investment in Route 79 and Braga Bridge Project will have a lasting and meaningful impact for Fall River," said MassDOT Highway Division Administrator Thomas Tinlin. "The news that for the first time since 2001 we have all three lanes heading eastbound is exciting, and I couldn’t be happier with the progress of construction."

The completion of work and opening of all three lanes of I-195 Westbound on the Braga Bridge is expected to occur late next week, weather permitting. One travel lane has been maintained in each direction at all times on the Braga Bridge during the construction activities.

There may be intermittent short-term lane closures over the next few months to complete punch list items.

Drivers who must travel through the affected area of I-195 Westbound should continue to expect delays, reduce speed, and use caution while approaching and traveling through the work zone. MassDOT encourages drivers to seek alternate routes to avoid delays.

For more information on the project, visit the website. For questions or to report issues related to construction, please call the project hotline at 781-774-0441 or email route79project@state.ma.us. View progress photos on MassDOT's Route 79/Braga Bridge Flickr album.


MBTA Green Line Extension Update

The MBTA is seeking letters of interest from firms that may want to provide services for the Green Line Extension project. This step initiates the process for engaging potential bidders in the design and construction industry in the next phase of the project.

glx logo

The MBTA will host a forum on November 16, in the state transportation building, to discuss the current scope of the GLX project, and anticipates inviting firms capable of leading Design Build teams to accomplish the work.

The project includes the design and construction of two distinct branches that will serve as an extension to the Green Line: a “mainline” branch which will operate within the existing right-of-way of the Lowell Line, beginning just south of a relocated Lechmere Station in Cambridge and traveling north to Medford, and a branch line operating within the existing right-of-way of the Fitchburg Line to Union Square in Somerville. There will be seven new stations constructed as part of the project, including the relocated Lechmere Station, as well as associated electrical and signal systems. A vehicle storage and maintenance facility will also be constructed.

To date, the GLX project has reached a number of important milestones.

  • On August 8, the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board authorized the MBTA to proceed with the next phase of the Green Line Extension project: the development of procurement documents for the ultimate selection of a new construction team.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between MassDOT and the City of Cambridge for the city to contribute $25 million to fund elements of the Green Line Extension project within the city of Cambridge (particularly costs associated with the relocation and reconstruction of Lechmere Station). Both the FMCB and the MassDOT board voted today to accept the memorandum of understanding with the city of Cambridge, accepting the city’s funds. The $25 million contribution will be transferred from the City of Cambridge to the Commonwealth, over the course of several years.
  • MassDOT is working with the City of Somerville to advance a similar MOU to account for the pledged $50 million contribution from Somerville.
  • A comprehensive review of the project to identify cost reductions and steps to streamline and improve the planning and construction process.
  • Continued close-out of existing construction contracts.

The project still hinges on the release of $1 billion in funds pledged by the federal government. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) earlier this year expressed support for the work performed to date by the Interim Project Management Team. In a letter to MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack, FTA Regional Administrator Mary Beth Mello wrote the "IPMT has made every effort to redesign the project in ways that preserve its most essential transportation benefits, consistent with your fiscal constraints."

The FTA calls the MBTA’s cost estimates "complete, well documented," the project scope "consistent with the scope of work set forth in the Full Funding Grant Agreement", and the project schedule "mechanically sound."

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