by Jeffrey B. Mullan, Executive Director, Turnpike Authority
This week, former Governor Romney was honored with the unveiling of his official portrait, which is now hanging in the outer office of the executive suite at the State House. There, it joins the portraits of our last six Governors, back to Frank Sargent, who was, of course, our Public Works Commissioner in the 1960s. Less well noticed was that Romney's placement on the wall caused the displacement of Sargent's predecessor, also a former Public Works Commissioner, John A. Volpe, who was Governor of the Commonwealth for much of the 1960s.
As we pursued transportation reform over the last two years, we talked a lot about John Volpe and his impact on Massachusetts transportation. The son of immigrants, Volpe rose to become a three-term Governor, the first U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and the nation's ambassador to Italy. As Commissioner, he did battle with another transportation giant, William F. Callahan, and pushed for the creation of the Dewey Square Tunnel. As Governor, he laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Executive Office of Transportation in 1969. While U.S. Secretary of Transportation, he was at the forefront of the nation's shift to the need for community planning in transportation and was witness to the stop the highway movement that began right here in Boston. That effort led directly to increased investment in public transit and, ultimately, to the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. In recognition of his contribution to transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation rededicated its national facility in Cambridge as the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in 1990.
While Volpe's role in our business is unquestioned, he became important to our work on transportation reform because not since he was Governor have we so fundamentally changed the way we govern transportation in the Commonwealth. His career is also a reminder to us that decisions we make now have an impact on citizens for a long time. How ironic that, on the very day that the transportation reform bill became law, Volpe's portrait was removed from the executive suite. He no longer needs a place of honor at the State House. His legacy is secure. So long as we have Chapter 6C of the Massachusetts General Laws, Ambassador Volpe will be very much a part of our profession.
Springfield: Governor Baker, Secretary Pollack Celebrate Rail Car Manufacturing Facility posted on Sep 4
Governor Charlie Baker joined Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, CRRC Vice President Weiping Yu, and state and local officials to announce the groundbreaking for a $95 million railcar manufacturing facility for the purpose of fabricating the Orange and Red Line subway cars and to support future …Continue Reading Springfield: Governor Baker, Secretary Pollack Celebrate Rail Car Manufacturing Facility
MassDOT, Partners Awarded Federal Workforce Development Grant posted on Sep 4
MassDOT has been awarded a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Workforce Development grant to support the Massachusetts Construction Career Development (MCCD) program preparing the next generation of skilled workers in construction trades. MassDOT is one of 19 grant recipients from 13 states, as announced this month …Continue Reading MassDOT, Partners Awarded Federal Workforce Development Grant
MBTA: South Boston Bus Stop Improvement Program posted on Sep 3
In consultation with the South Boston local elected officials, the MBTA is pleased to announce preliminary planning for South Boston bus stop and service improvements. Goals for the effort include the following: • Enhance service reliability • Reduce overcrowding at bus stops • Optimize bus …Continue Reading MBTA: South Boston Bus Stop Improvement Program