For Immediate Release - July 16, 2010

Governor Patrick Highlights $1.67 Million Investment in Public Works Economic Development

Project Revitalizes North Abington Business District; Spurs Additional Private Investments

ABINGTON - Friday, July 16, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic $4 billion Massachusetts Works program that will put nearly 20,000 people to work across the Commonwealth, Governor Deval Patrick today joined local leaders in Abington to highlight how a $1.67 million Massachusetts Department of Transportation Public Works Economic Development (PWED) grant is revitalizing the North Abington business district.

Now under construction, the funds support the redevelopment of the district through roadway resurfacing, sidewalk improvements and streetscape enhancements. The project includes installation of a traffic signal at Routes 58 and 139, and construction of a 34-space parking lot for nearby Arnold Park. The project is moving forward with new parking already in place and with work continuing through this fall.

"This project is making real improvements to the Abington business district and creating even more private investment as a result," said Governor Patrick. "This is how we strengthen this economy and continue to outperform other states."

"This type of infrastructure investment will lead to job creation and long-term economic sustainability in regions across the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "Today's announced PWED Grant for Abington will go along way in supporting the town's economic development goals."

MassDOT provides PWED funding awards to municipalities for transportation infrastructure improvements that will spur economic development, job creation, smart growth and better pedestrian access. Since 2000, nearly 100 projects in 66 municipalities have been awarded approximately $100 million. The grant funding has leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment and helped create thousands of local jobs -- both permanent and temporary construction jobs.

"PWED competitive grants like this one target basic, vital improvements, such as enhanced parking that residents and visitors in communities like Abington will notice and benefit from," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullan.

"This important funding is being put to great use here in Abington. By reducing congestion, easing pedestrian travel, and beautifying our streets, we are making this area a highly-appealing destination that will attract visitors and businesses from around the region," said Representative Allen McCarthy.

"The townspeople of Abington, the Board of Selectmen and I appreciate the partnership between the state and the Abington Highway Department Superintendent Kanon Connell in securing state PWED funding to allow for the infrastructure improvements to North Abington," said John O. D'Agostino, Abington Town Manager. "Many businesses in the area will benefit from the reconstruction of sidewalks, granite curbing, solar decorative street lighting and stamped brick entrances to each business, as well as placement of two town clocks in the project area. As a result of the new improvements, the North Abington commercial area will once again become a center of business activity and development. Leveraging PWED funding not only enhanced the development of the project, but permitted the town to uniquely define the area for decades to come."

MassDOT transportation infrastructure investments, including road and bridge projects, are part of the more than $4 billion infrastructure investments being made as part of the Administration's Massachusetts Works initiative putting nearly 20,000 people to work across the state this construction season.

The Commonwealth's investment in roads and bridges has grown from $515 million in fiscal year 2007 to a projected $1.085 billion in fiscal year 2010.The road and bridge construction program will support more than 10,000 jobs on 385 separate projects across the Commonwealth.

At the same time, MassDOT reduced the time from construction contract advertisement to construction start by more than 43 percent - a drop from 218 days in 2008 to 124 days in 2009.

To learn more about Massachusetts Works, visit www.mass.gov/governor/massworks. For additional information on how the Patrick-Murray Administration's agenda is leading Massachusetts out of a global recession sooner and stronger than the rest of the nation, visit www.mass.gov/governor/agenda.

MassDOT is the new, unified transportation organization created in 2009 under the historic reform legislation passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick. MassDOT's four divisions are focused on delivering safe and efficient transportation services across the Commonwealth. For transportation news and updates, visit the MassDOT website at www.mass.gov/massdot, the MassDOT blog at www.mass.gov/blog/transportation or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot.

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