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Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has injected $2.8 billion into highway infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes. Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, MassDOT Secretary Pollack, and Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver visited communities across the Commonwealth highlighting the positive regional impacts of these investments, as well as the $700 million in authorized funding directly to cities and towns.

To understand the scale of these projects, think of these statistics:

  • Paving 2,000 lane miles, enough to cross Massachusetts and back at least 5 times.
  • Installing 160 miles of sidewalk, almost encircling the Quabbin Reservoir.
  • Rehabilitated or replaced about 80 bridges.

Governor Baker, alongside key Massachusetts transportation officials, visited a nearly completed road maintenance project in Tewksbury, an example of the importance of infrastructure to local and regional economies.

“By improving our highway infrastructure through investments in our roads and bridges, we can enable people throughout our cities and towns to travel to the places, jobs, and opportunities that strengthen our Commonwealth and its communities,” said Governor Baker.

In Tewksbury, the project is set to fix an intersection where Tewksbury Selectmen Chairman Mark Kratman said he hears “accident after accident.” Not only will the administration’s investment positively impact pedestrian and motorist safety, but also foster new development opportunities.

“As this infrastructure goes through, it creates economic development in our community,” Kratman told the Lowell Sun. “It opens the roadways and allows traffic to flow through. This is great for the community.”

Visiting the North Shore, Lieutenant Governor Polito joined Mayor Kim Driscoll in Salem to tour a project where a roadway shutdown will finish a month ahead of schedule. The Canal Street resurfacing will not only relieve traffic and historic flooding issues, but use state-of-the-art technology to make the important route more appealing to developers.

“It’s exciting. The project has been really well-managed,” Mayor Driscoll told the Salem News. “The road is no longer crooked. And when it’s finally completed, to be able to have sidewalks and bike paths, it’s going to be a great quality-of-life improvement for folks who live or travel on the corridor.”

Taking a trip south of Boston, Governor Baker learned about the Route 93 project that will replace two highway bridges in their entirety of two weekends in the fall. The project, one of $315 million in investments in the Greater Boston area for 40 road and bridge projects impacting 19 communities, will use accelerated construction techniques in order to minimize the impact on the traveling public.

“We are in the business of getting people where they need to go,” MassDOT Secretary Pollack told the Patriot Ledger. “We know replacing infrastructure … may not be the sexiest thing we can do, but it’s among the most important.”

Lieutenant Governor Polito’s love of her home region is no secret, and in Worcester she was proud to highlight $193 million spent on 75 small-scale infrastructure projects benefiting 77 communities throughout central Massachusetts. The lieutenant governor received a tour of a $10.8 million project that will not only replace the Belmont Street bridge, but also upgrade pedestrian signal equipment, accessibility ramps, crosswalks, and create a bicycle accommodating shoulder on both sides of the bridge structure.

“Whether they need to get to the hospital, whether they need to walk from that neighborhood across the street to get to a medical office, whether people need to get to the courthouse or the destinations on Main Street, to restaurants to schools, it’s very important that this bridge function,” Polito told MassLive.com.

“I use this exit and this ramp probably three times every day of my life, so I’m glad to see it’s finishing up,” said state Rep. John Mahoney of the 13th Worcester District, applauding MassDOT for its expected finish about 60 days ahead of schedule.

Continuing out west, Secretary Pollack and Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver visited a project in Longmeadow that involves resurfacing and improving Converse Street, adding sidewalks, as well as rapid flashing beacons for pedestrian safety. This $3.6 million investment is part of $135 million invested in 50 projects impacting 56 cities and towns in the Pioneer Valley last year.

“By carrying out reconstruction projects, such as the one on Converse Street, we can better support our local cities and towns that rely upon safe travel to achieve their local development priorities,” said Administrator Gulliver.

A sixty-mile drive to the northwest of Longmeadow, MassDOT officials highlighted a reconstruction project on Housatonic Street in Dalton, one of 20 projects in the Berkshires region seeing over $60 million in infrastructure spending last year. Beyond repaving the roadway, the Dalton project will feature other improvements to ensure safe and reliable travel whether by car, bicycle or foot.

The administration is proud of its partnership with local communities, allowing them to have direct input on the projects and giving them access to flexible funding options. Beyond the $700 million in Chapter 90 authorizations, an additional $30 million has been invested through Complete Street and Municipal Small Bridge programming to support local transportation planning and community bridges not eligible for federal aid.

“The Commonwealth relies on strong infrastructure and safe roads to drive our economy and provide opportunities for our cities and towns,” Governor Baker added. “Since taking office, we have been pleased to invest over $2.8 billion in improving the critical infrastructure that empowers drivers, bikers, pedestrians or those on public transit to get to the places they need to be in communities throughout Massachusetts.”

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