For Immediate Release - July 20, 2010

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY ACCESS TO WORCESTER'S EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER AND LEARY REGIONAL TRAINING FACILITY

Project Provides Critical Access Improvements at Important Public Safety Facility

WORCESTER - Tuesday, July 20, 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, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today announced that the first phase of infrastructure improvements to Worcester's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Leary Regional Training Facility is moving forward. These improvements will include enhanced pedestrian and emergency vehicle access at the site, which is also home to the Worcester Fire Department's Headquarters and the Grove Street Fire Station.

The first of its kind, the facility currently services over 65 communities, and provides year-round training and realistic table-top exercises for firefighters and area fire departments. It also serves as the command post for the City's Emergency Operations Center, which allows key personnel and regional agencies to coordinate emergency management and provide government functions before, during and after disasters strike. Today's groundbreaking begins Phase 1 of the access road and bridge project, which will construct the first of three additional access points that will allow safety officials to maintain a larger capacity of public safety vehicles that can be utilized in the event of a declared local, state or national emergency. The project will also lead to important environmental and design improvements, including wetlands restoration.

"This project represents an investment in public safety for the community and, by putting people to work, an investment in our economy," said Governor Deval Patrick.

"Improving the Grove Street station with better access to the training facility will be a great benefit to Worcester and surrounding communities," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "We are pleased to see this project move forward as it is an example of an infrastructure investment that creates jobs, while also improving public safety."

"Public safety is a top MassDOT priority. The Grove Street transportation infrastructure investment will provide an important upgrade for a key Worcester fire and emergency facility," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullan.

The 2008 Transportation Bond Bill provided funding for the project, which has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The City of Worcester will be responsible for the project design and oversee construction. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

"I am excited for this project, which will both improve public safety response time here in the city, and make life a little easier for the brave men and women of the Worcester Fire Department. This is an example of the Commonwealth making a prudent investment in our communities here in Central Mass - an investment that will lead to a tangible improvement in the quality of life," said Senator Michael O. Moore.

"These investments in our premiere public safety facility are critically important to our WFD and our community," said City Manager Michael V. O'Brien. "We are grateful to the Patrick-Murray Administration for their support and continued investment in our City."

MassDOT transportation infrastructure investments, including road and bridge projects, are part of the more than $4 billion infrastructure investments being made through the Administration's Massachusetts Works initiative to put 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.

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.

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