BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is pleased to announce that approximately $1 billion was invested in improving and upgrading roads, bridges, sidewalks, multi-use paths, and intersections across the state in calendar year 2017.
This $1 billion in capital investments included repairs and improvements to 386 bridges in 123 communities and improved road conditions in over 155 cities and towns across Massachusetts. An additional $30 million was programmed through the Complete Streets and Municipal Small Bridge programs in order to support local transportation planning and community bridges not eligible for federal aid.
“The Baker-Polito Administration has focused on improving the reliability and resiliency of our transportation infrastructure to ensure that people throughout the Commonwealth are able to drive, walk, bike, or use public transit and reach the places they need to go,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “By investing in our roads, bridges, sidewalks, multi-use paths, and intersections, we can provide better options to travelers and allow them to utilize their preferred mode of transportation to reach their jobs, homes, businesses, and places that improve their quality of life.”
“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito, MassDOT is working to empower people throughout the Commonwealth so they can better reach opportunities and important destinations in our cities and towns,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “By working closely with municipalities and improving our roadways, replacing or rehabilitating our bridges, building new pathways, and constructing new sidewalks, we can help strengthen our communities and build a stronger Commonwealth.”
Notable construction project highlights from 2017 include:
• Opening the new Fore River Bridge that carries Route 3A between Quincy and Weymouth to two lanes of traffic in each direction. The existing temporary bridge that was built approximately 20 years ago was has also been demolished.
• Completing highway reconstruction activities on I-90 following the demolition of toll plazas at 23 locations between New York and Boston so that only minor bunch-list items remain. Work has been completed on or ahead of schedule after the Commonwealth transitioned to its All Electronic Tolling Program on I-90 on October 28, 2016.
• Replacing the eastbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge deck in Boston in approximately two weeks this summer while minimizing impacts on people traveling around and under this bridge in vehicles on I-90, local roads, the MBTA Green Line, buses and commuter rail, and riding on Amtrak.
• Reaching the full beneficial use milestone for the $148 million I-91 Viaduct Rehabilitation Project in Springfield approximately eight months ahead of schedule. The majority of the work has now been completed and the lanes and ramps on I-91 have reopened.
• Filing the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Allston I-90 Viaduct Improvement Project. This was a major milestone in the project to replace and improve the existing structurally deficient viaduct that carries approximately 144,000 vehicles per day on I-90 over Boston’s Allston neighborhood.
• Opening the new southbound Whittier Bridge which carries vehicles on I-95 between Newburyport and Amesbury. This significant milestone means there are now three lanes of travel on the north and southbound bridges as part of the $292 million bridge project
• Reaching the full beneficial use milestone for the $66.4 million Methuen Rotary Project, meaning that the majority of construction work is now completed and motorists can enjoy the full benefits of this project.
• Replacing two bridges that carry traffic on Route 3 in Braintree in just two weekends in order to reduce the impact on the traveling public and local community. This work was completed with accelerated construction techniques including pre-fabricated bridge beams and concrete deck panels.
• Continuing with the final $150 million contract for the Route 128/I-95 Add-A-Lane project. This year, several new on and off-ramps were opened in the area of Kendrick Street in Needham, and traffic was shifted onto a new bridge carrying traffic on Route 128/I-95 over Route 9.
• Beginning a $29.4 million project to replace bridges carrying vehicles on Route 3 in Hanover and Norwell. Crews have demolished one bridge on Route 3 southbound in Hanover after creating temporary southbound travel lanes in the median area and will next begin constructing a new bridge.
The Baker-Polito Administration has invested over $2.8 billion since 2015 on highway construction projects and bridges, pavement, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes, while authorizing over $700 million in Chapter 90 local transportation funding for cities and towns. An additional $30 million has been invested through Complete Streets and Municipal Small Bridge programming to support local transportation planning and community bridges not eligible for federal aid.
Statewide, those investments have paved approximately 2,000 lane miles, enough to cross Massachusetts and back at least 5 times; installed 160 miles of sidewalk, almost encircling the Quabbin Reservoir; and rehabilitated or replaced approximately 80 bridges. Projects include installing new safety equipment, optimizing traffic configuration, lane and intersection widening and building infrastructure which accommodates everyone, whether they are on foot, riding a bike, taking mass transit, or driving.