For Immediate Release - January 20, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Road Improvement Grants for Western Massachusetts

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - As part of Governor Deval Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, the Patrick-Murray Administration has given formal approval to three Small Town Road Assistance Program (STRAP) grants for road improvement projects in Becket, Monroe and New Marlborough.

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.

"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 grants, approved following a competitive application process through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), include:

  • Becket: $500,000 for resurfacing and drainage improvements on Algerie Road and Bonnie Hill Road to address current hazardous roadway conditions.
  • Monroe : $250,000 for Kingsley Hill Road reconstruction to address hazardous conditions after one lane of the road and the embankment washed away.
  • New Marlborough: $500,000 for reconstruction of 3.4 miles of Clayton Road to address extreme pavement cracking and deterioration.

"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.

"These three awards will help the communities New Marlborough, Becket and Monroe address hazardous road conditions on widely traveled local roadways," said Senator Benjamin B. Downing. "This significant infusion of state capital transportation dollars is exactly how we should be spending transportation bond monies. These projects will vastly improve driver and pedestrian safety while addressing the deterioration of roadway infrastructure. I am pleased the Patrick Administration has selected these three proposals for STRAP funding."

Projects in Avon and Ashburnham also received STRAP grants. The 2008 transportation bond bill signed by Governor Patrick expanded the number of communities eligible for STRAP grants. Prior to the latest five awards, a total of 16 STRAP grants were awarded since 2002. Additional grant awards are expected in FY2011.

"I am truly pleased to see that the Patrick-Murray administration has decided to award Becket this much-needed grant," said Representative Denis Guyer. "This STRAP funding will help to remedy a potentially dangerous situation and ensure the safety of drivers and residents in Becket."

"This is wonderful news and will provide much needed funds to repair this stretch of roadway. This grant could not have come at a better time for a small town like New Marlborough that has been feeling the pain from large budget cuts," said Representative Smitty Pignatelli.

"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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