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image004-10Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today joined Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Congressman Jim McGovern, members of the Massachusetts Legislature, and local leaders at a ground breaking event to celebrate the start of a $9.3 million project to improve a section of Main Street in Worcester.

Through this project, MassDOT will carry out reconstruction work on Main Street between Chandler Street and School Street which will include reconfiguring this area from four total travel lanes to three lanes so crews can install 6 foot bicycle lanes on both sides of the roadway.

“We are continuing to invest in core transportation infrastructure throughout our communities to help people get to where they need to go in a more reliable way,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These improvements in the heart of Worcester will increase access to economic opportunities in the city’s business district.”

“Our administration is committed to working closely with Massachusetts cities and towns to make local roadway improvements across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “This project will provide important upgrades to Worcester’s Main Street, making the area more accessible for people using different modes of transportation.”

This roadway is being reconstructed following a traffic analysis which confirmed that a three lane configuration will allow multimodal benefits while accommodating traffic volumes throughout this area. The configuration is changing from two vehicular travel lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with bicycle lanes, and a dedicated vehicular left-turn lane at various intersections.

Work will also include resurfacing the roadway, reconstructing sidewalks, and adding streetscape elements such as bicycle racks, benches, and trash receptacles. This will help create a welcoming, environmentally friendly landscape with trees, visible crosswalks, and a safe and friendly atmosphere.

“This project is an example of our commitment to ensuring that roadways are accessible for all users – including pedestrians, bicyclists, and people using active forms of transportation,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We have appreciated the support and input of local leaders and members of the public, and we thank everyone who has gotten us to this point so that we can begin construction work.”

“This is an exciting time for the City of Worcester. From Union Station and Worcester Airport to City Square and Gateway Park, Worcester has momentum,” said Congressman McGovern. “These improvements are about making downtown Worcester even more welcoming, more vibrant, more interesting, and more attractive. I’m proud of the federal funding we’ve secured for this project, and I’m happy to be part of a team of city, state, and federal leaders who are working together to revitalize our city.”

Initial work activities for this project include surveying, conducting work on conduits, sidewalks, and drainage, and excavation for traffic signal mast arm foundations. Work is occurring during daytime hours and lane closures will be necessary at various times to allow crews to safely and effectively conduct operations. The full project is currently expected to be completed in 2020.

“MassDOT is pleased to be starting construction and improving this important link within the City of Worcester,” said Highway Administrator Gulliver. “We thank the staff members who have designed and planned this project in ways that will provide benefits for all modes of travel, and we look forward to seeing the project completed.”

“This is not simply a repaving project but a complete reimagining of Main Street,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “Beyond considerable infrastructure improvements which will make Main Street safer for all users, this project will utilize public art amenities to tell the story of Worcester’s history.”

MassDOT appreciates the cooperation and patience of the traveling public as transportation infrastructure is improved. Members of the public are encouraged to utilize the appropriate technology tools including mass511.com, MassDOT’s GoTime travel app, and other wayfinding resources to find the most appropriate route, mode, and timing of travel during construction operations.

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