- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates New Rail Connection between North Adams and Adams in Berkshire County
Colleen Arons , Communications Director
ADAMS — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined local officials, including North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard and Chairman of the Adams Board of Selectmen John Duval for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the extension of the Adams Branch Rail Line, connecting the downtowns of Adams and North Adams. The $2.6 million MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program award was announced in 2016, and builds on more than $16 million in MassWorks investments in Berkshire County.
“Our Administration’s investments in Western Massachusetts continue to move the region forward, and we are pleased with the progress we’ve made together,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Increasing access to high-speed broadband and making investments in infrastructure, housing, site-readiness, brownfields remediation and collaborative workspaces are helping the region attract new businesses, residents, and opportunities for long-term, stable growth.”
“The rail extension connecting Adams and North Adams is an exciting development for residents and tourists alike, and will enhance both downtown districts,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “Active downtowns are critical for Massachusetts cities and towns, they provide a place for small businesses to grow, families to thrive, and communities to gather. We continue to support municipal leaders in their efforts to make downtown districts more walkable, cyclist-friendly and vibrant.”
The MassWorks award supported the Hoosac Valley Service Track Extension Project, which extended the Adams Branch Rail Line from Renfrew Street south to the new Adams Station. The extension advances the goal of connecting the downtowns of Adams and North Adams through tourist train service and has leveraged over $5 million in public funds towards this important regional effort. The project also amplifies other local MassWorks investments, including nearly $4 million in the redevelopment of the GreylockWORKS, an adaptive re-use of an underutilized, blighted former mill into a vibrant, mixed-use development with plans for housing, a restaurant, an event space, co-working, and a hotel, representing more than $20 million in private investment.
“MassWorks is an important tool in our suite of resources for municipalities to build stronger communities and pursue high-impact projects,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “We work hard to continue improving our programming for communities, and take the feedback of our local leaders seriously. We believe you understand the needs of your residents and local businesses best, and we are here to be your partner in creating a more successful and more dynamic Commonwealth together.”
“The Scenic Rail extension and train platform project checks off several boxes for Adams,” said John Duval, Chairman of the Adams Board of Selectmen. “The project helps to bring us closer to our vision for a vibrant community; and it unites our downtown with downtown North Adams in a truly unique way that I believe will create a gateway to both communities for residents and visitors alike.”
“Congratulations to the town of Adams on the completion of the Hoosac Valley Service Track Extension Project,” said North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard. “This is a terrific addition to the town, and part of a close and growing connection between our communities. I’m grateful to Lt. Governor Polito and the Baker administration for supporting this important infrastructure investment in Adams, and for recognizing that making a MassWorks investment in this project will provide a great return for our region. And, of course, I look forward to the day when the Adams station and platform is matched with a comparable facility in North Adams, which will only happen by leveraging the same public-private collaboration and energy that fueled the track extension project.”
"Improving our infrastructure, investing in tourism, enhancing access to our natural assets are the ways we will reinvigorate our small towns,” said Senator Adam Hinds. “This track extension is critical for those objectives.”
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 through strategic investments in public infrastructure. Since 2015, 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, 1,200 new hotel rooms, and commercial/retail space.
In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569), which included a $500 million reauthorization of the MassWorks program to fund investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth. Earlier this month, the Governor signed economic development legislation that includes an additional $250 million in new MassWorks authorization.
More information is available at the MassWorks website.