Baker-Polito Administration Awards $8.8 Million in First Round of 2016 MassWorks Grants
Funding will support transportation improvements in ten rural communities
Boston – October 31, 2016 – Today Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash joined rural community leaders and legislators at the State House to award the first $8.8 million in MassWorks Infrastructure Program grants for 2016 to support nine rural infrastructure projects, located in ten communities. MassWorks grants will allow the Towns of Avon, Charlemont, Chesterfield, Lee, Millville, Phillipston, Petersham, Shirley, Stow, and West Brookfield to make critical improvements to regionally significant roadways and improve safety and circulation for pedestrians and bicyclists through Complete Streets upgrades.
“The MassWorks Infrastructure Program promotes community vitality by investing in shovel-ready public infrastructure projects that allow municipalities to unlock impactful local and regional economic development opportunities,” said Governor Baker. “These infrastructure grants bring about positive change in communities of all sizes, from the Berkshires, to Cape Cod. Thanks to the $500 million MassWorks reauthorization included in the economic development legislation we signed this past August, we have the ability to continue partnering with communities, and supporting local growth, for years to come.”
“The power of MassWorks infrastructure grants is in the way the program focuses the state’s attention, and resources, on local economic opportunities,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “Today’s awards celebrate high-impact, regionally significant projects in the Commonwealth’s small, rural communities. Over the coming weeks, we’ll make additional awards, in rural regions, suburban communities, and Gateway Cities. MassWorks grants allow diverse communities to partner with the state to implement their unique economic development vision, and set the stage for future growth.”
The MassWorks Infrastructure Program makes grants to public infrastructure projects that generate additional private sector investment. Each year, the MassWorks program allocates 10 percent of awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety and transportation improvement projects.
“Massworks funding provides a spark that ignites new economic opportunity in communities across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary Ash. “These highly competitive awards make positive deep impacts in cities and towns, allowing our local partners to attract new investment.”
“Our capital plan reflects an approach grounded in maintaining and modernizing our existing assets and making targeted investments for the future,” said Secretary for Administration and Finance, Kristen Lepore. “The MassWorks program provides our communities and the Commonwealth with important infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation.”
The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation.
The 2016 grant round generated 114 applications, requesting $287 million in public infrastructure grant funding. Infrastructure projects awarded in the 2016 grant round will generate $1 billion in private investment in communities.
Since its inception in 2011, the MassWorks program has invested $419 million through competitive grant rounds, in 223 projects throughout the Commonwealth.
In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569) to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth. The Baker-Polito Administration has increased MassWorks funding by $35 million over the past two fiscal years.
2016 MassWorks Small Town Rural Assistance Program Award Winners
Avon - West Main Street Reconstruction - $965,000
Avon will reconstruct West Main Street, a major inter-community connector roadway that serves the surrounding communities of Randolph, Holbrook, and Brockton. This road safety project will complement recent water and utility upgrades.
Charlemont - Town Bridge Repair Project - $949,000
Charlemont will use $949,000 in MassWorks funding to make critical repairs to three of the Town’s 46 bridges. This rural road safety project will address weight-rating limitations, allowing for greater commercial traffic circulation and improving emergency vehicle access. The project is regionally significant to the Towns of Heath and Rowe.
Chesterfield - Smith Road Improvements - $983,750
Chesterfield’s $983,750 MassWorks award will fund the reconstruction of Smith Road. Smith Road is of regional significance to the neighboring Towns of Cummington, Goshen, and Worthington. This rural road safety project will reduce response times for emergency vehicles, and will improve access to the Chesterfield-Goshen regional elementary school.
Lee - Forest Street Reconstruction - $1,000,000
The Forest Street Reconstruction Project is a full-depth reclamation of the road, which runs from Route 20 in the Town of Lee to the Town of Tyringham. The road requires substantial reconstruction to provide safe passage for regional school district buses and public safety vehicles.
Millville - Central Street Transportation Improvement Project - $1,000,000
Millville’s rural road safety project will reconstruct a major collector road in the Town’s center, reducing flooding hazards, complementing a recent intersection reconstruction, and utilizing a Complete Streets design approach that will increase connectivity to the town center for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
Phillipston and Petersham - Petersham Road / Popple Camp Road Reconstruction Project - $1,348,135
The Towns of Phillipston and Petersham will collaborate to reclaim and repave 4.8 miles of local arterial roadways that connect the two towns’ centers, and provide direct access to Route 101 and Route 32. This rural road safety project will improve response times for regional emergency services and improve roadway conditions for town residents and visitors.
Shirley - Main Street Bridge Improvement Project - $725,000
Shirley will make necessary repairs to the Main Street bridge over Catacunemaug Brook, ensuring the continuity of roadway connections between the Town’s public safety buildings, and the surrounding community. The Town of Shirley is providing $82,700 in matching funds.
Stow - Lower Village Traffic Improvement Project - $850,000
The Town of Stow will make Complete Streets improvements to its Lower Village, improving traffic circulation, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and drainage in the area. Streetscape improvements will improve access to local businesses and provide connectivity to 203 new housing units nearby. The Town of Stow is providing $400,000 in matching funds.
West Brookfield - Cottage Street and Lake Street Reconstruction Project - $1,000,000
West Brookfield will make streetscape improvements to three roadways -- Cottage Street, Lakeview Avenue, and Lake Street -- that connect West Brookfield Center and the Town Beach. Improvements will increase pedestrian safety and accessibility by implementing traffic calming measures, constructing new sidewalks, and improving intersections. West Brookfield is providing $114,000 in matching funds.