For Immediate Release - May 12, 2011

GOVERNOR PATRICK KICKS OFF CONSTRUCTION SEASON, ANNOUNCING NEARLY $1 BILLION IN 2011 ROAD AND BRIDGE PROJECTS

FY 2011 Projects Build on Administration's Unprecedented Infrastructure Investments

Construction Season Kick-off

Governor Patrick kicks-off the 2011 construction season, highlighting the Administration's record infrastructure investments in communities across the Commonwealth.(Photo credit: Matt Bennett/Governor's Office)

BOSTON -- Thursday, May 12, 2011 -- Governor Deval Patrick today joined transportation officials, local legislators and construction workers at the Dorchester Avenue Reconstruction Project to kick off the 2011 construction season, announcing $931 million in road and bridge projects in communities across the Commonwealth. These projects will create thousands of jobs and continue the Administration's efforts in building a strong, sustainable infrastructure throughout Massachusetts.

"We are building a legacy of investing in our infrastructure that will provide long-term benefits for generations to come," said Governor Patrick. "This historic level of investment is creating thousands of jobs while providing a timely economic boost this construction season."

"As I travel across the state, I see the results of these road and bridge investments at every turn," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "This coming year's statewide road and bridge program combined with local Chapter 90 funds will continue to maintain and improve our vital transportation assets in all regions of the Commonwealth."

This year's funding builds on previous record annual investments and is nearly double the amount spent on infrastructure projects in 2007. The FY 2011 construction program includes approximately 450 projects, including 300 active construction projects and 150 maintenance projects.

The $15.6 million Dorchester Avenue project highlighted today is reconstructing the busy Dorchester Avenue corridor at 15 intersections, with major road, traffic signal and sidewalk crossing improvements. The project began in 2010 and is on time and on budget, with completion expected in fall 2012.

"Transportation reform has already dramatically changed the way we deliver transportation services in the Commonwealth and this is the next step. Our roads and bridges are essential to the daily operations of commerce and travel and, due to years of neglect, have become a matter of public safety," said Senate President Therese Murray. "This effort will also help expand our workforce in the Commonwealth and bring critical employment opportunities to an industry that has seen a 27 percent decrease in jobs since 2007."

"This significant investment will create much-needed jobs and improve the safety of our roads and bridges," said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. "Even in these difficult economic times, we in Massachusetts are finding ways to put folks back to work while revamping our state's transportation infrastructure for today's residents and future generations."

This year's $931 million construction program includes $550 million from the Statewide Road and Bridge Program, $208 million from the Administration's historic Accelerated Bridge Program, and $173 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment funds. In calendar year 2010 alone, MassDOT projects created or sustained an estimated 30,000 jobs.

The Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP) is an unprecedented 8-year, $3 billion investment in the Commonwealth's bridges, which will dramatically reduce the number of structurally deficient bridges in Massachusetts. Already, the program has reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges from 543 to 458, a drop of more than 15 percent. Forty-two ABP projects have been completed, 69 are currently in progress, and 28 are scheduled to begin this year.

"The Governor and Lieutenant Governor have a well-established track record of reversing the previous neglect of our state's infrastructure," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. "It is our job at MassDOT to move forward with these projects in a timely and efficient manner."

Among the other major projects under construction in 2011:

  • The $57.5 million Great River Bridge project in Westfield, with a new bridge over the Westfield River and reconstruction of the existing historic bridge.
  • The $36.8 million innovative "Design-Build" I-495 Bridge Bundle project in Lowell and Tewksbury.
  • The Charles River Basin bridge projects, including the Craigie Drawbridge and rehabilitation of the historic Longfellow Bridge.
  • The $35 million Neponset River Bridge Phase II project in Quincy.
  • The $28.1 million reconstruction of the Hadley Overpass carrying Route 8 over the Hoosic River in North Adams.
  • The "93Fast14" project to replace 14 bridge structures along I-93 in Medford, with all major work during weekends only in summer 2011.

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