For Immediate Release - June 03, 2010

GOVERNOR PATRICK JOINS U.S. DOT SECRETARY LAHOOD, CONGRESSMAN NEAL IN CELEBRATING STATE STREET CORRIDOR PROJECT

$18.2 million project tied to economic development nears completion

SPRINGFIELD - Thursday, June 3, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic Massachusetts Works program to promote job growth and long-term economic recovery, Governor Deval Patrick today joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Congressman Richard Neal and Mayor Domenic Sarno along with local state legislators to highlight federal and state investment in the State Street Corridor improvement project in downtown Springfield.

"The State Street Corridor project demonstrates our commitment to making investments that will secure the Commonwealth's economic future and build stronger communities," Governor Patrick said. "It also illustrates the importance of the federal-state-local partnership that is necessary to complete these important investments in our transportation system."

"The State Street Corridor connects Springfield's past with Springfield's future," said Secretary LaHood. "This project means new jobs for workers and new opportunities for businesses to flourish. We are proud to have been your partners in this effort to strengthen one of America's most important historical corridors, education corridors, and business corridors."

"What we are witnessing in the City of Springfield is the unveiling of a new and improved State Street Corridor. From St. Michael's Cemetery, to the banks of the Connecticut River, the transformation of this important and historic urban boulevard is nearing completion. This exciting revitalization project celebrates our own unique past, but also makes a significant investment in Springfield's future. And it was the work of both the public and private sector that made these extraordinary improvements possible. I believe we can take pride and satisfaction today in what has been accomplished on State Street," said Congressman Neal.

The $18.2 million transportation project spans 3.5 miles of State Street from Interstate 91 to Berkshire Avenue and includes roadway resurfacing, traffic signal upgrades and coordination, pedestrian sidewalks and crosswalks, and lighting and streetscape improvements. The project covers 19 intersections along with transit accommodations including bus stops, bus bays and the implementation of a bus priority system.

The project, funded with 75-percent federal and 25-percent state money, will support the redevelopment and revitalization of the State Street corridor including the $60 million federal courthouse construction project between Spring and Elliot Streets and the recently renovated $71 million MassMutual Convention Center. The corridor also serves other major cultural, educational, business and neighborhood assets.

The State Street Corridor project is one of more than 385 road and bridge projects ongoing across the Commonwealth this summer. The Patrick-Murray Administration's investment in roads and bridges totals more than $1 billion and will sustain more than 10,000 jobs. These road and bridge projects are a part of the more than $4 billion infrastructure investments being made as part of the Administration's Massachusetts Works initiative putting nearly 20,000 people to work across the Commonwealth this construction season.

"Our total city owes gratitude to Congressman Neal, the Massachusetts Legislature, Governor Patrick and Mayor Sarno for the joint support to bring about the refurbishing of the central artery of Springfield, which is State Street. This project already has and will continue to make Springfield the shining city on the hill," said Representative Benjamin Swan.

"I want to thank Governor Patrick and my partners in state and federal government for helping to make this important revitalization project a reality," said Representative Angelo Puppolo.

"This project is another sign that Springfield is a city on the move. It is very gratifying to see and know that the Governor is committed Springfield's success. This work is much needed and will make travel and access into Springfield more accommodating as well as stimulating employment opportunities," said Representative Brian Ashe.

"I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to Congressman Richard E. Neal and to the Patrick/Murray Administration for their continued ongoing efforts for this project," said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.

Within the State Street Corridor, another MassDOT project is underway - the $2 million rehabilitation of the State Street Bridge over Roosevelt Avenue. Work on this Accelerated Bridge Program project began last June and is scheduled for completion in May 2011. The Patrick-Murray Administration's Accelerated Bridge Program was designed to reduce the inherited and growing backlog of structurally-deficient bridges in Massachusetts. As a result of the Accelerated Bridge Program, the number of structurally deficient bridges in the Commonwealth has dropped nearly 10% in two years.

MassDOT has also reduced the time from construction contract advertisement to construction start by more than 43 percent - a drop from 218 days in 2008 to 124 days in 2009. For ARRA 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 sooner 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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