For Immediate Release - July 06, 2012

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY JOINS PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR $105 BILLION TRANSPORTATION BILL SIGNING CEREMONY AT THE WHITE HOUSE

Massachusetts to receive nearly $1.9 billion over two years for highway and transit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Friday, July 6, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray will join President Barack Obama today at the White House for the signing of the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012. The legislation will create jobs in Massachusetts and across the country repairing the nation’s aging roads and bridges. Once signed by President Obama, the new law will authorize $105 billion in funding for highway and transit programs through Fiscal Year 2014. Of the $105 billion, Massachusetts will receive nearly $1.2 billion in federal highway funds over the next two years to modernize the Commonwealth’s highways and bridges. Additionally, Massachusetts is expected to receive more than $345 million per year in transit funding compared to the approximately $300 million Massachusetts received this year.

As Chair-Elect of the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA), Lieutenant Governor Murray recently joined the current Chair of the NLGA, Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy (R-Nebraska), in a joint letter to Chairwoman Barbara Boxer of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Chairman John Mica of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to advocate for the passage of the Surface Transportation Extension Act.

“I applaud President Obama and Congress for finding a solution that will help Massachusetts and all states strategically plan and invest in transportation infrastructure projects,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “From day one, Lieutenant Governor Murray has recognized the value of infrastructure investments and our Administration has remained committed to investing in our highway and transit system to build a stronger Commonwealth.”

“Governor Patrick and I have worked closely with our state legislature and congressional delegation to provide the tools and resources needed to create jobs and improve infrastructure in cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray, Chair-Elect of the National Lieutenant Governors Association. “The passage and signing of the Surface Transportation Extension Act is critical to these efforts because it will fund substantial highway and transit projects in our communities. The Governor and I thank President Obama for his leadership on this issue, as well as Congress for working together in a bi-partisan fashion to pass this important legislation. We have projects ready to go throughout Massachusetts that will put people to work and improve our highway, road, rail, and bridge infrastructure across the state.” 

Nearly $1.2 billion in federal highway funding allocated to Massachusetts will provide the Patrick-Murray Administration with critical financial support to invest in highway and bridge projects across all regions of the Commonwealth. The funding will also stimulate job creation in Massachusetts, directly adding approximately 11,000 new highway construction jobs per year. Program funds from the Federal Highway Administration account for well over half of the Administration’s total investment in the Commonwealth’s road and bridges. Additionally, through allocated federal transit funding from the Surface Transportation Extension Act, the Administration will be able to continue to invest in the Commonwealth’s 15 regional transit authorities and the MBTA, improving mobility for residents in Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities, seniors and persons with disabilities.

The bill is a two year authorization that will provide predictability and stability in planning. Since the expiration of SAFETEA-LU in 2009, Congress has authorized ten shorter-term extensions, making it difficult for Massachusetts and other states to plan for infrastructure investment.

“This is jobs for workers and an investment in highways, bridges, and transit programs to upgrade our aging infrastructure and help businesses move goods and services,” said U.S. Senator John Kerry. “I appreciate Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray really digging in to help make this happen.”

“Today’s bill signing means Massachusetts roads can get fixed, workers stay on the job, and students continue to pay low interest rates for their college loans,” said Congressman Edward Markey, dean of the Massachusetts delegation. “For the 161,000 students in Massachusetts eligible this year for a subsidized Stafford Loan, this bill provides security and ensures their loan rates will not double this fall. The legislation also will put thousands of construction workers on the job, improving our highways, bridges and transit which helps keep our workers and economy moving.

“Investing in our infrastructure is critically important for economic development and job creation,” said Congressman Mike Capuano, member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “I am proud of the role my office played in these difficult times to make Massachusetts one of only three states to receive increased funding. I look forward to this Administration’s opportunity to continue to put people back to work and address numerous infrastructure challenges.”

The following is a list of projects that will now be able to move forward over the next two years:

Berkshire County:
•       Reconstruction of Route 7 (Main Street) in Great Barrington
•       Replacement of Clark Road bridge over the Farmington River in Sandisfield

Springfield/Pioneer Valley Area:
•       Reconstruction of Route 187 (Feeding Hills Road) in Westfield
•       Reconstruction of Amherst Road in Pelham
•       Replacement of Route 122 bridge over the Westfield River in Huntington
•       Rehabilitation of I-291 bridge over Page Blvd
•       Bikeway Loop in Agawam, connecting Connecticut Riverwalk with Main Street

Greenfield/Franklin County:
•       Resurfacing of Route 10 between I-91 and Route 142 in Bernardston
•       Preservation of Depot Street Bridge over the Deerfield River in Monroe and Rowe

Worcester County:
•       Replacement of Belmont Street Bridge over I-290 in Worcester
•       Worcester Intersection Improvements on Lincoln, Highland, and Pleasant streets
•       Reconstruction of Sutton Street in Northbridge
•       Replacement of Route 146 bridge over West Main Street in Millbury
•       Replacement of Blackstone Street bridge over Blackstone River in Sutton
•       Resurfacing or Route 32 in Athol and Petersham
•       Replacement of Whitney Street bridge over Monoosnoc Brook in Leominster

Lowell/Lawrence/Merrimack Valley:
•       Methuen Rotary
•       Reconstruction of Route110 in Merrimac
•       Reconstruction of Arlington Street in Dracut

Metro Boston (including Metrowest, North Shore, Boston, South Shore):
•       Reconstruction and widening of Route 18 in Abington and Weymouth
•       Replacement of bridges on Route 128 in Needham and Wellesley as part of the Route 128 Add a Lane project
•       Maintenance work on Route 128 in Lexington and Burlington
•       Reconstruction of Liberty Street in Danvers
•       Reconstruction of Route 129 in Lynn
•       Reconstruction of Mass Ave in Arlington
•       Deck Patching and Superstructure Repair on Bowker Overpass in Boston
•       Maintenance work on I-495 in Franklin
•       Maintenance work on I-95 in Foxborough
•       Maintenance work on I-93 in Wilmington and Woburn
•       Maintenance work on Route 128 in Lynnfield and Wakefield

South Coast and Southeastern Massachusetts:
•       Reconstruction of Route 44 in Plymouth
•       Construction of a ramp on I-195 at Faunce Corner Road in Dartmouth
•       Route 140/Route 6 Intersection Improvements in New Bedford
•       Reconstruction of Tiffany Street in Attleboro
•       Superstructure replacement on Meridian Street in Fall River

Cape and Islands:
•       Resurfacing of Route 6 in Sandwich and Bourne
•       Resurfacing of Polpis Road on Nantucket

Lieutenant Governor Murray, Chair-Elect of the NLGA will be named Chair of the NLGA during the Association’s annual meeting (July 18 – July 20, 2012) in Chicago, Illinois. Lieutenant Governor Murray also chairs the state’s Seaport Advisory Council, and has awarded more than $50 million over the past five years to enhance and develop commercial aspects of the ports and harbors, including water transportation facilities, in communities stretching 2,800 miles along the Commonwealth’s coastline. Additionally, during the Administration’s first term, Lieutenant Governor Murray led negotiations with CSX Transportation to increase and improve commuter rail and freight transportation in Massachusetts. As a result of a $100 million landmark agreement reached with CSX in 2009, CSX is scheduled to open a new intermodal facility in Worcester this fall that will increase commuter rail service along the Worcester-Framingham line and unlock vital commercial development opportunities in the former Allston-Brighton rail yard along the Mass Pike. 

Since taking office, the Patrick-Murray Administration has made historic investments in the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure to stimulate job growth and economic development. The Administration has doubled capital investment in road and bridge programs and created the $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program, the largest statewide infrastructure investment program ever. To learn more, visit www.mass.gov/governor.


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