For Immediate Release - May 14, 2010

GOVERNOR PATRICK HIGHLIGHTS HISTORIC 2010 CONSTRUCTION SEASON AT PARK SQUARE IN PITTSFIELD

Project is Part of Massachusetts Works Initiative Investing Billions, Putting Nearly 20,000 to Work

PITTSFIELD - Friday, May 14, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic efforts to promote job growth and long-term economic recovery, Governor Deval Patrick joined with local leaders today at Park Square in downtown Pittsfield, a Massachusetts Works project nearing completion. The $2.3 million Park Square project will be completed on time in early June and within MassDOT's budget.

The project, overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), is transforming Park Square by improving traffic safety at three busy intersections surrounding the Square and making streetscape and sidewalk improvements. It is one of several hundred underway or scheduled to break ground this year as part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Works initiative, a series of investments totaling over $4 billion that will put nearly 20,000 people to work across the Commonwealth this construction season.

"We are putting shovels in the ground and thousands of people to work across the Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick. "This investment dramatically improves the heart of downtown Pittsfield for drivers, pedestrians and small businesses alike."

"The 2010 construction season is in full swing, and that means immediate job creation that will support the Commonwealth's recovery today and grow our economy for the long-term," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.

The Pittsfield project investment is the latest in the Patrick-Murray Administration's multi-pronged strategy for growth through making strategic investments in education, infrastructure and innovation; supporting small business growth; and regional economic development. The Massachusetts Works initiative highlights the hundreds of construction-related projects set to break ground this construction season.

"These improvements to Park Square are putting people to work and improving the traffic flow, pedestrian safety, and overall feel of Pittsfield's revitalized downtown. I appreciate Governor Patrick's continued commitment to western Massachusetts, Gateway Cities, and most importantly, to creating jobs," said Senator Benjamin B. Downing.

"By providing the funding for the reconstruction of Pittsfield's historic Park Square, the Commonwealth is making an important investment in the future of our downtown while putting people back to work in our community," said Representative Christopher Speranzo.

"This is an important construction season for the City of Pittsfield, and we've been able to move forward with many of these projects thanks to the support of Governor Patrick's administration. The governor has been very generous in approving projects like the one at Pittsfield's Park Square, which not only help improve the flow of traffic, they create jobs for our residents. We are grateful for his assistance," said Mayor James Ruberto

Because of Governor Patrick's historic investment in the state's roads, bridges and transit systems, MassDOT is delivering more transportation projects than ever on time and on budget. In 2010, the Commonwealth is projected to invest an unprecedented $1.085 billion in more than 350 projects funded by the state road and bridge program, Accelerated Bridge Program to repair structurally-deficient bridges, and federal stimulus transportation funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Our focus on reform has allowed us to create a more efficient transportation system that has already saved millions and is committed to making investments where they matter most, delivering projects that create jobs both today and in the future, and delivering them quickly and safely," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan.

The historic eight-year Accelerated Bridge Program initiated in fall 2008 has already reduced the number of structurally-deficient bridges by nearly 10%, down from 543 to 494. And MassDOT's streamlining of the construction process has reduced the time for construction contract advertisement to construction start by 43%, 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 has led Massachusetts out of a global recession sooner and stronger than the rest of the nation, visit www.mass.gov/governor/agenda.

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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