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MassDOT July Board Meeting

Wednesday, July 16

Lawrence Public Schools Building
255 Essex St,
Lawrence, MA

Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

MBTA Weekend Boat Service Attracts Customers

MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott has announced that the weekend of July 5th & 6th was the busiest yet for the seven-week old weekend Commuter Boat service between Hingham, Hull, Georges Island, and Boston. A total of 3,662 people used the Commuter Boats over the past weekend. Saturday, July 5th, marked the first time that ridership topped 2,000 on a single weekend day (2,128)

Over seven weekends, the boats have drawn nearly 18,000 customers for an average of 1,272 per weekend day. Each Saturday and Sunday, there are fourteen roundtrips between Hingham and Boston’s Long Wharf, with a number of boats making stops at Hull, Georges Island, and Logan Airport.

View the entire Weekend Boat Service blog post

The weekend Commuter Boat service will be available through the Columbus Day weekend in October.

July 11, 2014

Lexington: Route 2 Bridges Groundbreaking

Governor Deval Patrick this week joined MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey along with state and local officials to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Route 2 Bridge Replacement project in Lexington. The $50.3 million project will replace two structurally deficient bridges that carry traffic on the busy Route 2 corridor over Interstate 95.

The work will be performed using accelerated bridge construction to complete the project more quickly and with less impact on the public, and will increase access to local economic development opportunities and area businesses.

"Rebuilding our roads, bridges and other public infrastructure across the Commonwealth is critical," said Governor Patrick. "As we make these investments, we are making travel safer and more convenient while building the foundation for a growing economy."

The project includes two new bridges providing three travel lanes and one auxiliary lane in each direction. The work also includes realignment of portions of Route 2 to improve clearance over I-95, along with reconstruction and resurfacing of a two-mile section of I-95.

"The Lexington Route 2 Bridges project is a perfect example of making a critical investment and doing it the right way," said Secretary Davey. "We are replacing 50-year old deficient bridges and doing so using a streamlined design-build contract that will accelerate the timeline and deliver new bridges sooner to the tens of thousands of people traveling Route 2 each day."

This design-build project will allow for construction to begin almost immediately on critical elements of a project, even as final design elements are being approved. The bridge and highway designs are scheduled to be completed in early 2015 with construction complete by November 2016. MassDOT issued the notice to proceed with the project on April 22 following the passage of the Transportation Bond Bill. During construction, a minimum of two travel lanes and one auxiliary lane will be maintained in each direction on Route 2. A minimum of four travel lanes and one auxiliary lane in each direction will be maintained on I-95 during peak travel times.

MassDOT Assistance Encourages Vanpool Trips

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey this week announced the Massachusetts Commuter Vanpool Program. The Program is designed to increase vanpool use throughout the Commonwealth by subsidizing vanpool fares for participants. A monthly subsidy of up to $600 per month will be available to participating vanpools. Funding is provided through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Cost of Contracting Policy in order to increase vanpool participation rates and reduce single occupancy vehicle travel.

The Massachusetts Commuter Vanpool Program is led and administered by the MassRIDES Statewide Travel Options Program at MassDOT. MassRIDES works with employers and municipalities across the Commonwealth to encourage green commuting options, including vanpooling. A vanpool is a group of people with a similar origin, destination, and schedule, who share the costs of commuting and ride in a vehicle with seven or more seats. The group divides the cost of the monthly van rental, gas, insurance, and other affiliated costs.

"Vanpools have been a core part of our MassRIDES Program since its inception and we are excited to be able to offer a subsidy to make vanpooling a more cost effective and attractive transportation mode for commuters," said Secretary Davey. "Vanpools help us to improve air quality by taking more cars off the road which further enhances our GreenDOT initiative to reduce 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050."

Currently, there are approximately 60 vanpools on the road in Massachusetts with over 700 riders. These vans have operated successfully for existing riders, but there has been minimal growth in recent years. Massachusetts is joining other states in offering a monthly subsidy and reporting vanpool mileage to a national database. National reporting provides funding back to the state which in turn provided funding back to the vanpool vendors and to the vanpool participants – a win-win situation for Massachusetts and commuter vanpool participants. Three vanpool vendors have been approved to benefit from this subsidy including, The Rideshare Company, vRide, and Enterprise Rideshare.

In addition to environmental benefits, vanpools provide direct-consumer benefits. Participants save money on gas, tolls, insurance, parking costs and car maintenance. They are able to use the HOV lanes and reduce travel time to work. Vanpools allow for driving to become a shared task which affords riders the luxury of catching up on work, reading, socializing, or even napping.

For more information on the Massachusetts Commuter Vanpool Program, visit www.commute.com.

McGrath Highway/McCarthy Boulevard Public Meeting

MassDOT has scheduled a Public Information Meeting for the McGrath Highway/McCarthy Boulevard Project in Somerville as follows:

Thursday, July 17, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
The Argenziano School Cafetorium
290 Washington Street, Somerville

The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the Somerville community to the next phase of the McGrath Highway/McCarthy Boulevard Project. This new stage begins where the Grounding McGrath planning study ended and will undertake the design work and environmental review associated with the long-term conversion of the elevated McCarthy Overpass into an at-grade boulevard with “complete streets” style bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

The meeting will also provide residents and other area stakeholders with an opportunity to learn about the status of the short-term improvements to the McGrath Highway corridor and to meet MassDOT’s project team for the current phase of work. Following the presentation, MassDOT staff will facilitate a discussion to hear comments and answer questions.

To be added to the project email list, please contact Donny Dailey, 857-368-8902 or donny.dailey@state.ma.us.

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