Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash joined community leaders and legislators to announce over $8.5 million in MassWorks Program Infrastructure awards to 10 rural towns. These projects are the first of the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program\u2019s 2017 awards, spurring regional and local roadway improvements in Boxborough, Chester, Colrain, Monroe, Mount Washington, Oakham, Rowe, Southampton, Stockbridge and Warren.\n\n\t\t\t\u201cThe MassWorks Infrastructure Program is an important resource for cities and towns pursuing projects that drive local job growth and economic development in the Commonwealth\u2019s communities,\u201d said Governor Charlie Baker. \u201cFrom safer streets and bridges to vital access to housing and our downtowns, these projects will further connect the residents of Massachusetts\u2019 rural communities to schools, job opportunities and their neighbors.\u201d\n\n\t\t\tThe MassWorks Infrastructure Program makes grants to municipalities for public infrastructure projects that generate additional private sector investment. Each year, the MassWorks program allocates 10% of awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety and transportation improvement projects.\n\n\t\t\t\u201cThese projects will enhance public safety and community access for first responders, school buses, residents and tourists in our rural cities and towns,\u201d said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. \u201cGovernor Baker and I have been proud to increase funding for and support the reauthorization of MassWorks as a vital and flexible program for upgrading infrastructure across the Commonwealth.\u201d\n\n\t\t\tThe 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.\u00a0Since 2015, and including this year\u2019s awards, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $274 million to 134 projects in 106 communities throughout the Commonwealth, spurring the development of over 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space, over 7,000 immediate housing units, at least 7,000 square feet of new public space and 1,200 new hotel rooms and commercial/retail space.\n\n\t\t\t\u201cMassWorks awards are highly sought after funds that make targeted investments in shovel-ready projects,\u201d said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. \u201cCommunities receiving these awards have made significant efforts to attract private development and undertake impactful infrastructure projects to create new economic opportunities for residents and small businesses in their region.\u201d\n\n\t\t\t\u201cThe MassWorks program is one of the most useful tools we have for supporting economic growth in our cities and towns,\u201d said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. \u201cThe awards announced today will go a long way to improving critical transportation infrastructure in these communities.\u201d\n\n\t\t\t\u201cMassDOT is proud to work with the Department of Housing and Economic Development on the MassWorks Infrastructure Program,\u201d said Secretary of Transportation and MassDOT CEO Stephanie Pollack. \u201cThese grants will renew critical local infrastructure which connects our residents and visitors in rural communities to the education resources, hospitals, and the good and vital services they need.\u201d\u00a0\u00a0\n\n\t\t\t\u201cThese grants will address longstanding issues in communities across the Commonwealth,\u201d said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. \u201cI am grateful that these needs have been recognized and that we are starting to address them.\u201d\n\n\t\t\t\u201cI appreciate the balance the MassWorks program has struck by making sure that rural communities get fair opportunity and access to funding for infrastructure projects,\u201d said Senator Anne Gobi. \u201cBuilding supplies and labor don\u2019t cost any less out here and Secretary Ash and his team have done a great job of recognizing the needs of our communities.\u201d\n\n\t\t\t\u201cThese awards are vital for the small, rural communities of Monroe, Stockbridge, Rowe, Mount Washington and Chester,\u201d said Senator Adam G. Hinds.\u00a0 \u201cInvesting in and making improvements to roads and bridges throughout western Mass. is essential if we truly want the entire Commonwealth to be attractive to those seeking a new place to live, study in, visit or do business.\u201d\n\n\t\t\t\u0022I am very pleased that the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded this MassWorks grant to the Town of Chester,\u201d said Representative Stephen Kulik. \u201cThese funds will be used to provide crucial repairs to East River Road, which will improve safety and maintain an important access route for residents of Chester and nearby towns. I congratulate Chester on its work bringing this problem to the attention of state officials and I look forward to successful completion of the project.\u201d\n\n\t\t\tIn August 2016, Governor Baker signed\u00a0An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569)\u00a0to 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.\n\n\t\t\t\u00a0\n\n\t\t\t2017 MassWorks Small Town Rural Assistance Program Award Winners:\n\n\t\t\tBoxborough \u2013 Route 111 Pedestrian Improvement Project \u2013 $574,683\n\n\t\t\tBoxborough will complete significant pedestrian and roadway improvements that will support the completion of two proposed housing developments, increase walkability in Boxborough\u2019s town center and enhance pedestrian safety for students and families of the Blanchard Memorial School. Additionally, this award will leverage $65,000 in municipal funding.\n\n\t\t\tChester \u2013 East River Road Resurrection \u2013 $1,000,000\n\n\t\t\tChester will address extensive damages to East River Road, including severe cracking, edge deterioration, and dangerous potholes. This substantial road reconstruction will improve access for the residents of Chester, as well as neighboring Middlefield and Worthington, to schools hospitals and other regional facilities.\n\n\t\t\tColrain \u2013 Replacement of Adamsville Road and Call Road Bridges\u2013 $1,000,000\n\n\t\t\tColrain will use MassWorks funds to support the replacement of two municipally-owned bridges; The Adamsville Road Bridge is in imminent danger of failing, and the Call Road Bridge was previously closed in 2016, due to deterioration. These two routes are critical for first-responders, school busses and residents, providing vital services for the community.\n\n\t\t\tMonroe \u2013 Kingsley Hill Road, Roadway Safety Improvements \u2013 $1,000,000\n\n\t\t\tMonroe will pursue significant roadway and drainage improvements and the restoration of a failing retaining wall to maintain critical access to the town\u2019s water treatment system. MassWorks funds will also address slope erosion affecting northern access to the treatment system.\n\n\t\t\tMount Washington \u2013 Sallie\u2019s Cradle Slope and Culvert Improvements \u0026 Related Work \u2013 $580,000\n\n\t\t\tMount Washington will repair and improve East Street, the town\u2019s only direct route between Massachusetts and Connecticut, which is vital for the regional workforce. Without this access point, commuters will need to travel an additional fifteen miles to reenter Massachusetts.\n\n\t\t\tOakham \u2013 Reconstruction \u0026 Resurfacing of Ware Corner Rd, Adams Rd, South Rd \u2013 $1,000,000\n\n\t\t\tOakham will use funds for the reconstruction of Ware Corner Road and South Road, replacing failing culverts, and pursuing a full-depth reclamation and repaving projects. This project will improve road safety and transportation for residents, small businesses and emergency vehicles in the town.\n\n\t\t\tRowe \u2013 Cyrus Stage Bridge\u2013 $420,000\n\n\t\t\tRowe will replace the Cyrus Stage Bridge, which serves as a vital route for emergency vehicles and serves as a connection point to the Town of Heath. The Cyrus Stage Bridge is currently rated poorly by MassDOT, and the town is contributing funds for engineering and design costs.\u00a0\n\n\t\t\tSouthampton \u2013 East Street Bridge Replacement \u2013 $1,000,000\n\n\t\t\tMassWorks funds will support Southampton\u2019s reconstruction of the East Street Bridge, a key route between the town and the City of Holyoke. Southampton will use MassWorks funding to complete the first phase of the project, leveraging Chapter 90 local infrastructure aid. The award will also help the town attract further Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) funds for phase two of construction.\n\n\t\t\tStockbridge \u2013 Replacement of Interlaken Road (Route 183) over Larrywaug Brook \u2013 $1,000,000\n\n\t\t\tStockbridge will leverage a $500,000 award from MassDOT to replace a failing stone arch bridge over the Larrywaug Brook on route 183. MassWorks funds will close the funding gap for the town, allowing Stockbridge to bond the remaining costs.\n\n\t\t\tWarren \u2013 Quaboag Street Improvements \u2013 $1,000,000\n\n\t\t\tWarren will make roadway, drainage and sidewalk improvements on Quaboag Street, a designated Environmental Justice area, to enhance safety for motorists and pedestrians in the densely developed neighborhood. The MassWorks award will complement a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) award and $20,000 in Chapter 90 local infrastructure aid.