For Immediate Release - January 20, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Road Improvement Grant for Avon

MassDOT STRAP Grants Improve Public Safety; Support Economic Development in Small Towns

AVON - Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - As part of Governor Deval Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, the Patrick-Murray Administration has given formal approval to a Small Town Road Assistance Program (STRAP) grant for a road improvement project on Pond Street in Avon. The $500,000 grant will support reconstruction, drainage improvements, and new sidewalks on Pond Street to address neighborhood flooding caused by insufficient drainage.

"We are committed to strengthening our towns and providing them with the tools they need to thrive," said Governor Patrick. "Reinforcing their infrastructure through projects such as this improves public safety while also sparking economic development."

The STRAP grants of up to $500,000 each support the program's mandate to provide funding for road reconstruction projects that have been designed to improve public safety and promote economic development in smaller communities. The grants were approved following a competitive application process through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

"MassDOT is pleased to approve these STRAP grants as part of our focus on investing in transportation infrastructure in a way that makes critical improvements while promoting economic development in communities large and small in every region of the Commonwealth," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan.

"This grant will allow Avon to resolve longtime problems that have been detrimental to my constituents," said Senator Brian A. Joyce. "I am very pleased that the Patrick Administration has been an active participant in solving local issues through grant programs."

"I want to extend praise to our town officials for their diligence and efforts in securing the funds to resolve this longtime problem," said Representative William C. Galvin. "These grants are extremely competitive and we are glad to have the support of the Patrick Administration in being awarded this funding."

Other projects were awarded grants in Ashburnham, Becket, Monroe, and New Marlborough. The 2008 transportation bond bill signed by Governor Patrick expanded the number of communities eligible for STRAP grants by raising the population threshold from 3,500 to 7,000. Prior to the latest five awards, a total of 16 STRAP grants were awarded since 2002. Additional grant awards are expected in FY2011.

"MassDOT's Highway Division is focusing resources on projects throughout the Commonwealth that enhance safe travel," said Division Administrator Luisa Paiewonsky. "STRAP grants address this important priority in our smaller communities."

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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