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Commonwealth Ave Groundbreaking, October 28, 2016MassDOT is pleased to announce that it is beginning construction on Phase II of the Commonwealth Avenue Improvement Project in Boston. A groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate this occasion was held at which Governor Charlie Baker was joined by other officials including Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, Federal Highway Administration Massachusetts Division Administrator Jeff McEwen, MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin, Boston University President Robert A. Brown, local officials and transportation advocates.

“We are proud of the collaborative efforts that went into designing this project and helping to create safe streets and livable communities,” said Governor Baker. “This is a tremendously important design improvement for the City of Boston, and a reflection of the Commonwealth’s dedication to putting people first and better balancing various modes of transit, including walking, driving, cycling and public transportation.”

“This is an exciting development for the Boston community and a big step towards safe and reliable travel for all those who utilize Commonwealth Avenue,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “I would like to thank all the stakeholders who played a role in designing this project and who have demonstrated a commitment to improving travel and fostering economic growth and development.”

The $20 million project will help transform Commonwealth Avenue between the BU Bridge and Packard’s corner, and institute many improvements for the roughly 100,000 people who use this major artery every day.

“I am excited about the next phase of the Commonwealth Ave improvement project, which brings us one step closer toward a reconstructed roadway that will benefit all users of our streets – from pedestrians and cyclists to drivers,” said Mayor Walsh. “This project is utilizing new innovative measures and streetscape components that will enhance the safety of our road and make Commonwealth Avenue a model area for future improvements across the city. I thank our partners at the state and federal level for their support in bringing this project to fruition, and look forward to seeing the final product upon completion.”

These extensive upgrades will provide benefits for all travelers, including drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, public transportation users and individuals who utilize other methods of transportation.

“This project demonstrates the Baker-Polito Administration’s “complete streets” approach to road redesign,” said Secretary Pollack. “All streets should work for everyone and that means having designs that consider safety for people on foot, bike, in vehicles, and getting on and off busses and trains. The reconstruction of Commonwealth Avenue uses smart design ideas to improve conditions for all users, including drivers.”

“Here at MassDOT, the number one overriding thought when we design plans is safety,” said Highway Administrator Tinlin. “Safety is front and center when we design road and bridge projects and I stand here today very proud of how many people and many groups came together to redesign this stretch of road so that the new construction will result in a much safer pathway of travel for everyone.”

Through cutting-edge measures such as “protected intersections,” which have never been used before in the Commonwealth, travelers will have safer and more reliable transportation on a tremendously important roadway.

The project, which came about because of strong collaboration between MassDOT, the City of Boston, Boston University, the local advocacy community and local officials, will make Commonwealth Avenue one of the most innovative multi-modal corridors in the country.

This project will also improve intersections and crossings, redesign bus stops, and add physically protected bike lanes, new street lighting, landscaping, newly paved roads, and new street furniture.

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