For Immediate Release - June 25, 2010

GOVERNOR PATRICK VISITS GILL-MONTAGUE TO HIGHLIGHT $40 MILLION BRIDGE INVESTMENT

Critical Repairs for Vital Bridge Spanning Connecticut River Example of Governor's Commitment to Restoring Infrastructure

TURNER FALLS - Friday, June 25, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Works program promoting job growth and long-term economic recovery, Governor Deval Patrick today joined Congressman John Olver and local leaders at Unity Park to highlight the state's expansive rehabilitation of the Gill-Montague Bridge. The $40.1 million bridge project is funded by the Governor's statewide road and bridge program and is one of hundreds of road and bridge repair projects underway in the Commonwealth.

"The Gill-Montague Bridge provides a critical connection between Gill and Montague and stands as another example of the work we're doing to reverse decades of neglect to our infrastructure," said Governor Patrick. "Projects like this are putting people to work and helping Massachusetts enter a new period of long-term economic growth."

"The Gill-Montague Bridge is an essential link for Franklin County that is in dire need of repair. As the primary route in and out of downtown Turners Falls, the rehabilitation of this bridge will enhance safety while facilitating the development goals of Turners Falls and the region," said Congressman John Olver.

The project, which began in March 2010, involves the rehabilitation of the existing structurally-deficient steel truss structure carrying Avenue A over the Connecticut River connecting Gill and Montague. The bridge will be rehabilitated and restored in the existing location and will provide wider travel lanes and bicycle accessibility. The project also includes minor repairs to the General Pierce Bridge, which will be in use during construction of the Gill-Montague Bridge. The project is scheduled for completion in 2014 and is partially funded by a $3 million appropriation by Congressman Olver.

"We have reduced our backlog of structurally-deficient bridges by 10 percent and continue to repair and replace bridges in every region of the Commonwealth," said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. "The rehabilitation of this important bridge will improve public safety and be a lasting symbol of our renewed investment in Commonwealth infrastructure for decades to come."

"I want to thank Governor Patrick for his ongoing commitment to Franklin County. For decades our bridges and roads have been neglected. Governor Patrick is working to correct that and the long overdue Gill-Montague Bridge project is one of many projects making Franklin County roads and bridges safe again," said Representative Christopher J. Donelan.

The Gill-Montague Bridge project 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. MassDOT's road and bridge investment has grown from $515 million in FY 2007 to a projected $1.1 billion in FY 2010. The road and bridge construction program will support more than 10,000 jobs on 385 separate projects across the Commonwealth.

Additionally, MassDOT has reduced the time from construction contract advertisement to construction start from 218 days in 2008 to 124 days in 2009 - a more than 43 percent drop in wait time. For American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects, the timeline from construction contract advertisement to notice to proceed was reduced to 48 days, allowing MassDOT to put people to work on construction projects faster than ever before.

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 faster 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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