For Immediate Release - April 12, 2012

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY HIGHLIGHTS $1.5 MILLION TO REPLACE THE FALL RIVER HERITAGE STATE PARK BOARDWALK

FALL RIVER – Thursday, April 12, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today visited the Fall River Heritage State Park Boardwalk to highlight $1,544,000 in funding to support the boardwalk’s replacement project. The funding was approved last week by the Patrick-Murray Administration's Seaport Advisory Council.   

“Our Administration is committed to working with communities up and down the Commonwealth’s coastline,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “In Fall River, investing in infrastructure improvements will significantly enhance economic activity and development along the waterfront. Our Administration, especially through the work of the Seaport Advisory Council, has made critical investments to date and we look forward to continuing to work with Fall River to develop a more vibrant city and waterfront for the community, region and Commonwealth.”  

The funding for the Fall River Heritage State Park Boardwalk, along with all approved Seaport Advisory Council projects, was supported by the Energy and Environmental Bond Bill, signed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008. Last Thursday, the Seaport Advisory Council also approved infrastructure and economic development projects in Scituate, Provincetown, Chatham and Chilmark. 

“This renovation project is a key component in revitalizing the Fall River waterfront and a good example of how these type of investments in our coastal communities can improve the quality of life for residents and visitors by enhancing public spaces and recreational opportunities,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

Owned by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Fall River Heritage State Park Boardwalk was originally constructed almost 30 years ago to provide 1,915 feet of timber along the water’s edge to promote public access to the water. With the boardwalk now reaching the end of its useful life, the awarded $1,544,000 will support the replacement of the boardwalk as well as maintenance of the stone bulkhead on which it rests. Replacing the boardwalk is a critical component of Fall River’s waterfront revitalization as it connects Heritage State Park to other local attractions including Battleship Cove, the Carousel and local businesses along the waterfront.

“DCR’s Heritage State Park in Fall River and its boardwalk is a regional attraction that provides residents and families with an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and a place to promote a healthy lifestyle,” said DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert, Jr. “We appreciate Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray’s continued advocacy and support of our incredible natural, cultural, and recreational resources and look forward to completing this project. This investment will allow DCR to continue to achieve our mission of connecting residents with their natural surroundings."

The Patrick-Murray Administration’s Seaport Advisory Council has approved more than $5 million in funding to support the City of Fall River and its overall waterfront redevelopment plans. In addition to the recently approved $1,544,000 to support the Fall River Heritage State Park Boardwalk, the Council has invested $2.1 million for the City Pier, one of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s designated Brownfield Support Team (BST) Initiative sites. This investment, along with additional funds from the United State Environmental Protection Agency, MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), supports the revitalization of a very complex, blighted brownfield site including environmental assessment, technical assistance and significant cleanup on the Fall River waterfront, centrally located along the Taunton River Boardwalk. Fall River is one of the Commonwealth's 24 Gateway Cities. 

Additionally, the Seaport Advisory Council has partnered with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to invest $1.7 million in the Fall River State Pier. Through a recently completed initiative of the Seaport Advisory Council, AGM Marine has rehabilitated the existing South Berth and provided additional marine infrastructure to support short sea shipping operations, as well as accommodate existing cargo, commercial fishing and ferry/cruise/excursion operations in a revitalized multi-use maritime facility.  

“This collaboration and pooling of state resources is fiscally responsible and jump-starts the necessary and sustainable revitalization of the Fall River waterfront,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “This funding has helped bring this site closer to reaching its full potential for the enjoyment by current and future SouthCoast area residents.”

“I would like to thank the Patrick-Murray Administration for their continued support of our City’s waterfront.” said Mayor of Fall River William Flanagan. “This project will continue to bolster our concentrated efforts to improve economic development and tourism on the waterfront.”

About the Seaport Advisory Council

The Seaport Advisory Council, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Murray, consists of 15 members including cabinet secretaries, agency heads, mayors from seaport communities and regional and waterway user representatives. Funding for projects approved by the Seaport Advisory Council is supported by the Energy and Environmental Bond Bill, approved by the legislature and authorized by Governor Patrick in 2008. Under the Patrick-Murray Administration, the Seaport Council has allocated over $45 million to projects in Massachusetts to enhance and develop the commercial aspects of the ports and harbors in the Commonwealth’s coastal communities. Today’s meeting in Scituate was the Council’s first meeting this year.  

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