For Immediate Release - February 17, 2010

GOVERNOR PATRICK, CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION ANNOUNCE MASSACHUSETTS WILL RECEIVE $95.5 MILLION IN FEDERAL STIMULUS TRANSPORTATION GRANTS

Three ARRA Grants Will Create Jobs, Support Transit and Rail Improvements for South Coast, Revere and North Central Massachusetts

BOSTON - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick and the state's Congressional delegation today announced Massachusetts has been awarded $95.5 million in major federal stimulus Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant that will fund critical transportation improvement and economic growth projects for South Coast Rail, Revere's Wonderland transit station and rail service in North Central Massachusetts.

"These three grants create jobs, spark economic growth and support critical transportation improvements in regions of our state that deserve better service," said Governor Deval Patrick.

"In partnership with our federal delegation, these grants will help increase opportunities for improved commuter rail services as well as further community and economic development in the Northeast, North Central, and Southcoast regions," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.

"These investments will reduce pollution, save commuters time and money, spur economic development and create jobs. It means better travel options for commuters on the SouthCoast, and in the Revere and Fitchburg regions, all while we transform our nation's outdated and underfunded transportation systems," said Senator John Kerry.

"The Recovery Act is working right here in Revere, creating good jobs with this infusion of $20 million in federal funding to support construction of a badly needed parking garage that will, in turn, trigger more than $500 million in private development to revitalize Revere's waterfront," said Congressman Edward Markey. "On today's anniversary of the Economic Recovery Act, I am pleased to announce this additional funding for Revere, which will pave the way for hundreds of permanent jobs in the future as we create a world-class development at Waterfront Square. While we continue to work to improve the economy, this federal funding is an important shot in the arm."

"The commitment of these funds from the stimulus bill represents a breakthrough - federal dollars formally and legally committed to the construction of a commuter rail from Southeastern Massachusetts to Boston," said Congressman Barney Frank. "My congressional colleagues, the Governor and I will make sure that this first step is followed by all the others necessary to complete this project."

"I'm very pleased with this funding," said Congressman James McGovern. "The replacement of these bridges - which are older than some states in our country - is essential to expanding rail service to Fall River and the Southcoast. This funding will create short-term construction jobs, and in the long term will help support thousands of permanent jobs in the Southcoast. Reconstruction of these bridges, which will benefit both freight and passenger rail service, is an important step toward linking Fall River and the Southcoast with the Boston region."

"This is major next step in the North Worcester's transportation infrastructure development and the Fitchburg line improvements," said Congressman John Olver. "Not only is this about needed direct job creation, but this project will benefit the region's economy for years to come by extending improved rail service to communities west of Fitchburg."

The $95.5 million will be distributed to Massachusetts as part of three separate TIGER grant awards:

  • $55.5 million will be used to support the Fitchburg Commuter Rail extension project to extend commuter rail 4.5 miles. This grant award was the seventh largest in the country. The project includes track improvements to support freight and passenger rail and a new Wachusett commuter rail station and layover facility. It is estimated that the facility will service over 400 new commuter rail passengers in 2012, divert 824 vehicle trips from Route 2, and create an estimated 306 construction jobs in the short-term; and create at least 855 new jobs in the long-term. The grant was a priority of Congressman John Olver's and joint application of the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority, the City of Fitchburg, Town of Westminster, MBTA, Pan Am Southern, and OMNOVA Solutions, Inc.
  • $20 million will be used to fund reconstruction of structurally-deficient rail bridges in New Bedford that are immediately north of the planned Whale's Tooth Station for the South Coast Rail project. The bridge work is the first step in moving forward with the groundbreaking "Fast Track New Bedford" project that will revitalize New Bedford's waterfront and initiate construction of a key component of South Coast Rail. The project is expected to create immediate construction jobs and reduce fuel consumption by 292,000 gallons of gas per year.
  • $20 million will be used to support multi-modal improvements to the area of the Wonderland station in Revere. The original grant included a proposed multi-modal path, creation of an employment center, green design and energy efficiency components and important accessibility and state of good repair projects. The grant was a joint application of the City of Revere and Congressman Edward Markey.

"The additional funding is crucial to this project that will create jobs and help to spur economic growth in this portion of Revere. The rejuvenation of this vital section of Revere will transform the area into a transportation hub that will provide easier access to points in Greater Boston and beyond," said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.

"I am very pleased with today's grant announcement. I would like to thank Congressman John Olver, Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray for their advocacy on behalf of the region. This is another step to further the development of the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line. This project has been a top priority for the entire legislative delegation for some time. This is great news for North Central Massachusetts; we will be creating jobs, while making much needed improvements to our transportation infrastructure," said Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan.

"This is wonderful news for the Fitchburg Line and North Central Region. The Wachusett Station project will make important improvements to our system that will benefit the long term future transportation needs of the region. Most importantly it will quickly create jobs and stimulate economic activity," said Representative Stephen L. DiNatale.

"This is an incredible opportunity for our city - to be able to realize our longstanding vision of better connecting our neighborhoods with our beach - this is truly a great day for Revere," said Representative Kathi-Ann Reinstein. "I am so proud that our city has been awarded such a substantial grant by the federal government to improve and renew our surface areas in and around Wonderland Station and the beach. Our entire city stands to benefit greatly from these stimulus dollars."

"The Fitchburg Commuter Rail extension is a project that I feel very passionately about. Bringing the opportunity for businesses to develop in our area and tap our capable workforce in Central Massachusetts will be a key factor in our area's economic recovery. I am proud to work with the Governor's Office, as well as local officials to make this extension a reality. This money is a huge step in that direction," said Representative Robert L. Rice, Jr.

"We are pleased that there is recognition that the North Worcester county area is place of high growth due to our housing affordability, access to jobs, and recreation amenities. The Wachusett commuter station will be a driver of more smart growth for Fitchburg and the region," said Mayor Lisa A. Wong of Fitchburg.

"I am pleased that the Governor is continuing to focus on commuter rail improvements in North Worcester County. These efforts will not only help ease traffic on our east west roads, but will assist in promoting and enhancing tourism and business development," said Mayor Dean Mazzarella of Leominster.

"This is a highly competitive federal discretionary grant program that required convincing evidence that transportation enhancements would bring smart growth and economic benefit," said Jeffrey Mullan, Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary & CEO.

"This is a very important and significant project for central Massachusetts, not only for the commuters, but also because it will help freight train operation and the businesses of Fitchburg Industrial Park. Fitchburg and the Montachusett region as a whole will benefit from this funding," said Mo Khan, Administrator, Montachusett Regional Transit Agency.

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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