Governor Patrick and MassDOT are investing federal stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds in road and bridge projects and providing jobs for today and tomorrow in every corner of the Commonwealth.
We are pushing projects out the door as fast as possible to fix broken roads and bridges, spark long term economic development, and improve access to transit, bicycling and walking.
Examples include $15 million to jump-start the Assembly Square project in Somerville that will result in thousands of future jobs tied to a new IKEA store, parks, office space, housing, and a new MBTA Orange line stop, along with more than $30 million invested in Exit 8B in Fall River to support development at the Fall River Executive Park.
Five additional projects moving forward this month have a total value of $84.6 million, including the North Bank pedestrian bridge. By next spring we will have allocated the entire $437.9 million allotment of ARRA highway funding and all our projects will be in the pipeline to construction or already under construction.
The full report is here and after the jump.
Addressing Decades of Neglect by Fixing Our Broken Road and Bridges
• Prior to the federal stimulus program, a $3B Accelerated Bridge Program to repair broken bridges and record-level investment in road and bridge repairs were already putting people to work throughout Massachusetts fixing our roads and bridges. Because of the investment already under way, Massachusetts has the unique ability to focus our highway ARRA funding on projects that will deliver both short and long term benefits.
• In the last Federal Fiscal Year more than $1.1B in highway projects were underway to undo decades of neglect that had led to the deterioration of our aging transportation infrastructure. That represents an increase of more than $490M in construction projects from the last fiscal year.
Our Stimulus Plan for Stronger Communities, Long Term Economic Recovery
• Massachusetts has set itself apart not only by quickly moving repaving jobs but by also supporting projects that promote regional equity, long term economic development and job growth, and healthier communities. Our goal in Massachusetts is to make sure stimulus pays off not just this year but for decades to come.
• Our mix of highway projects includes expansion of the state’s most popular park & ride lot, repairs to roads in ever corner of the state, new bike path construction, investments to improve transit service and road and infrastructure improvements that will support critical economic development projects.
• While many states have just focused on funding repaving projects — which result in money being spent more quickly — they have done so at the expense of other projects that will result in long term job creation, economic growth and a sustainable transportation system.
• The Patrick administration’s investments are helping to revive stalled private developments and leverage public and private funds for jobs today and tomorrow. Some of these projects take a few months longer to move to construction but the pay off in long term jobs is well worth the wait.
o $15M has jump-started the Assembly Square project in Somerville that will result in thousands of future jobs tied to a new IKEA store, parks along the Mystic River, 1.75 million square feet of office space, 1.15 million square feet of retail space including a new hotel, 2,100 rental and ownership condominium housing units and a new MBTA Orange line stop.
o Over $30M will be invested in Exit 8B in Fall River to support development of office space at the Fall River Executive Park.
o The $8.1M Quincy concourse will make long-awaited improvements to a connector road that will allow better redevelopment of downtown Quincy by separating local traffic from thru traffic.
• We are “flexing” an unprecedented amount of highway stimulus money to improve transit access throughout the Commonwealth, including a green multi-modal transit center in Greenfield that will serve as a hub for regional transit and rail service, and bus improvement to improve service and reliability on some of the MBTA’s busiest bus routes. While this transit money doesn’t get immediate credit under certain spending reports the investment in transit and sustainability is aligned with the Obama Administration’s vision for building a sustainable transportation system.
• Many of our economic development and sustainable transportation projects will employ a more diverse range of workers than repaving projects, allowing Massachusetts to support not just short term construction jobs but design, engineering and support jobs as well.
Getting Projects Underway Faster Than Ever Before
• Once a project is advertised, the Patrick Administration will continue to move projects to construction faster than ever before. We have already taken a 120 day process and compressed it to 46 days. That means once a project is advertised we’re moving it to construction as quick as possible.
• Many of our larger projects – that will result in long term economic recovery and job creation – will be advertised by the end of December which will substantially increase the amount of stimulus money we have committed to specific projects underway.
• By the beginning of December we anticipate moving 5 additional projects with a total value of $84.6M including the Fall River Exit 8B project, North Bank pedestrian bridge and Dorchester Avenue reconstruction in the City of Boston.
• By next spring we will have allocated our entire $437.9M allotment of ARRA highway funding and all our projects will be in the pipeline to construction or already under construction.
• Though construction work may be limited during the winter season that won’t stop us from putting people to work to prepare our full range of stimulus projects so that we can hit the ground running in the Spring when construction work resumes.
Massachusetts: Poised for Recovery
• The Governor is committed to building a stronger future for Massachusetts brick-by-brick, and has been focused on investing for the long-term.
• Our generationally responsible investment of ARRA funds, combined with historic investments being made through the Accelerate Bridge Program and Statewide Road and Bridge Program, is providing transportation construction jobs in 2009, 2010 and 2011, as well as providing a platform for long-term economic growth and job recovery for future generations.