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Massachusetts has set itself apart by choosing to fund transportation
In total, Massachusetts will invest $437.9 Million in Recovery funds for highway and bridge projects, and another $319 Million for projects to improve transit systems throughout the state. Once advertised, ARRA road and bridge projects are moving faster than ever before. For example, MassHighway took a 120-day advertising/bid/contract award process and reduced it to 44 days.
As of September 30th, 48 highway projects were in the pipeline to construction worth more than $272 Million. Thirty-one of those contracts with a total dollar value of $107.4 Million in contracts have been awarded and $16.2 Million has been spent on those projects. More than 1,300 people are working on ARRA stimulus road and bridge projects throughout the state. In addition to repairing and repaving roads in every corner of the Commonwealth, we are using stimulus funds to spark economic development and long term job growth. For example, we are investing $15 Million of stimulus funding to support critical infrastructure road, bike, and pedestrian improvements in the Assembly Sq. economic development project in Somerville. We are also spending $70 Million on exit 8 ½ in Fall River/Freetown to support economic growth in that important region.
As of September 30th, 43 MBTA transit projects had gone out to bid worth over $164 Million. Seventeen projects were under contract worth more than $47.6 Million. The MBTA is using recovery funds to improve commuter rail service and reliability, enhance bus service throughout the Boston region, and to expand bike facilities at T stations. In October, the MBTA opened up a new Silver Line route funded with stimulus money providing a direct connection from Dudley Station to South Station. Regional transit authorities have already dedicated all of their ARRA stimulus funds to make investments to improve bus service in regions across the Commonwealth outside of the MBTA service area.
Governor Patrick has also filed competitive high speed rail grant applications for regional rail projects in the Knowledge Corridor along the Connecticut River, the South Coast region and Inland route from Boston to Springfield.