Gov. Deval Patrick called the $1.5 billion transportation bond bill he signed Thursday what the state needs to strengthen its economy and "quality of life for the long term.”
“Our transportation infrastructure had suffered from years of neglect, so this administration started rebuilding roads, rails and bridges in every corner of our state and creating thousands of jobs," Patrick said after he enacted the bill, which enjoyed the strong support of the Legislature, passing the House by a vote of 150-2 on July 31, the last day of the session.
The bond bill ensures funding for many projects already under way and allots money for the planning of future improvements across the state.
It also continues funding for the final year of 2008's five-year Accelerated Bridge Program, the largest statewide infrastructure investment program ever, according to the administration. The bridge program has reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges by almost 20 percent, the governor's office said.
The bill has set aside several million dollars to upgrade bridges and roads in Boston. Specific earmarks include:
- $10 million for the redesign and reconfiguration of Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square in Charlestown. A study of the project, including remaining obstacles to completion, should be completed by Dec. 31.
- $1 million shall be expended for infrastructure improvements to the Maurice J. Tobin Memorial bridge in Chelsea and Charlestown.
Back Bay and Fenway
- Up to $400,000 for a study of current and proposed Massachusetts Turnpike entrance and exit ramps in the Back Bay and Fenway.
- Not less than $3.5 million for the redesign and construction of Melnea Cass Boulevard.
- Not less than $1 million for maintenance and improvements to the intersection of Route 1, Route 109, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Parkway and Spring Street in West Roxbury and Dedham
- Not less than $2 million to the MBTA for a demonstration project to increase groundwater levels adjacent to the Southwest Corridor provided that there is an understanding among the MBTA, the executive office energy and environmental affairs, the city of Boston and the Boston Groundwater Trust about the design and review process of the project, its management and the consultation process
- Up to $300,000 to retain an independent, third-party, nationally recognized consultant in hazmat transportation routing risk analysis to conduct a regional hazardous materials routing analysis which: addresses the safe and efficient transportation of hazardous materials through and around the greater metropolitan Boston area; addresses the public safety capabilities, environmental considerations and infrastructure capacity of impacted communities; and makes recommendations for improving the transportation of hazardous materials while safeguarding impacted communities.
- The Department of Transportation shall commission a study to determine the impact on the public safety of transporting ethanol by train through the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett and Revere. The report shall be completed not later than 6 months after the effective date of this act.
- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation shall establish a telephone hotline for citizens to have the ability to report trash, graffiti and signage obstructions along the commonwealth’s roadways.
- (South Boston) not less than $500,000 for the planning, design and construction of parallel parking along Columbia Road from I Street to Preble Circle in South Boston.
- (Mattapan) not less than $950,000 for planning, design and construction of signalization upgrades at the intersection of Morton Street and Gallivan Boulevard in Mattapan.
- (Allston) $1 million for the design and construction of a pedestrian footbridge over the Massachusetts Turnpike with an entry and exit point for the north side of the footbridge on Lincoln Street between Antwerp Street and South Waverly street in the city of Boston and an entry and exit point on the south side of the footbridge at the proposed New Brighton Landing commuter rail stop; funds shall be expended for the design and construction of three pedestrian underpasses adjacent to the Boston side of the Charles River at the River Street, Western Avenue and Anderson Bridges.
- (Brighton) $500,000 for a study to design and construct a pedestrian footbridge with and entry and exit point between Brooks Street and Parsons Street in the city of Boston over the existing roadways to and entry and exit point on the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path.
- (Dorchester) $3.5 million for the reconstruction of sidewalks from the intersection of Granite avenue and Gallivan Boulevard, along Gallivan and Morrissey boulevards to 100 Morrissey Boulevard at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
- (Brighton/Brookline) $6 million for planning, design, relocation, construction and enhancement of the inbound and outbound station platforms of the Green Line B stations at the intersection of Wallingford Road and Commonwealth Avenue and the Washington Street platform at the intersection of Washington Street and Commonwealth Avenue and planning, design, relocation, construction and enhancement of a center, side platform station of the Green Line B station located at the intersection of Lake Street and Commonwealth Avenue.