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MetroWest Road Project Included in List of Priorities for Second Round of ARRA Funds

October 29, 2009

Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced on Monday that a Route 9 resurfacing project is on a list of 33 priority projects, estimated to cost more than $165.6 million, that the Patrick-Murray Administration is proposing to fund in its second round of highway investment under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The proposed project would include $12. 5 million for Route 9 resurfacing from Framingham east to the Natick-Wellesley line. 

“Securing federal transportation stimulus funds for my district has been one of my top priorities this legislative session,” stated Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “I’m thrilled to have worked with the Administration to identify the pressing need for transportation infrastructure improvements in the MetroWest and to see this funding come to fruition.”

“This project will allow for much-needed repairs along the busy Route 9 corridor and will help improve the quality of commuting for individuals and families and will allow economic growth to continue in the region,” continued Spilka.  “In addition to the resurfacing, I am hopeful that we will be able to take some corrective action and fix some of the critical intersections along Route 9 as well.”

All projects achieve the Commonwealth’s goal of creating short and long-term jobs, sustained regional economic growth and stronger communities and transit across Massachusetts. The projects will now be reviewed for final approval by the state’s 13 regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations.  When approved and advertised for bid, they would complete the Commonwealth’s investment of the $437.9 million in ARRA highway funds allocated to the state by the federal government.

“These projects put stimulus money and Massachusetts people to work,” said Governor Patrick. “This administration is all about investing in our future, and these funds help.”

“Communities across the Commonwealth will benefit from these projects that will create jobs and improve our transportation infrastructure,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray. “We look forward to getting shovels in the ground as quickly as possible.”

“This significant investment means jobs, jobs, and more jobs throughout Massachusetts. It will help ease traffic congestion and modernize our state’s transportation infrastructure. It’s a win for the economy, our struggling workers, our businesses, and the environment,” said Senator John Kerry.

“Needed projects to rebuild and maintain state and local infrastructure in Massachusetts and across the country have been hit hard by the economic crisis, and so has the construction industry,” said Senator Paul G. Kirk, Jr. “I commend the Governor for his plan. It will pave the way for economic growth across the Commonwealth, and it also provides jobs for our hard-working citizens suffering from the current jobless recovery.”

Congressman John Olver, Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Committee, said, “The intent of the Recovery Act was to put people to work and improve the economy.  Investing in transportation projects is one of the best ways of doing this. The release of these Recovery funds represents a sizeable investment in the economy, and infrastructure, of western and central Massachusetts. Nearly every community will benefit.”

As of September 30, Massachusetts had 48 highway projects in the pipeline to construction, worth more than $272 million. The state was required to obligate approximately $153 million by the end of June 2009.  During that timeframe, the Commonwealth delivered 31 projects totaling $187.4 million and cut the advertising/bid/contract period from 120 days to 44.

In addition to ARRA funding, Massachusetts is investing billions in the state’s neglected roads and bridges, including the eight year, $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP) to repair broken bridges. As of September, the Accelerated Bridge Program had reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges by 52. Spending on road and bridge repair programs in the last federal fiscal year totaled $771 million – a figure that is up from $546 million last year and $502 million in FY 2006.

“The Framingham-Natick Route 9 corridor is one of the most popular commercial destinations in all of Massachusetts and I’m proud to see that stimulus funds will be used to support one of the Commonwealth’s most vital economic centers,” said Rep. Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland). “Metro West is beginning to see the results of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in both creating jobs and improving the quality of life.”

“This section of road represents one of Framingham’s most important economic corridors,” said Rep. Pam Richardson (D-Framingham). “I am thrilled that the Administration recognizes and appreciates the importance of this project as it will undoubtedly have a positive impact on my community and throughout the Metrowest Region.”

“We are reversing decades of neglect by making transportation investments that fix broken roads and bridges but also support stronger, healthier communities,” said Transportation Secretary James A. Aloisi, Jr. “From expansion of bike paths, to an unprecedented focus on transit and repairs to our aging roads, we are making investments that will pay off today and well into the future.”

“One aspect of transportation reform includes finding creative solutions that invest our limited transportation dollars wisely. These ARRA projects are a symbol of our new approach to prioritizing projects that will spur private sector development, lead to long term job growth, and balance the needs of all transportation users,” said Incoming MassDOT Secretary and C.E.O. Jeffrey Mullan.

“Fulfilling the administration’s commitment to provide jobs for today and jobs for tomorrow with a balanced stimulus program is further demonstrated by this action,” said Infrastructure Investment Director Jeffrey Simon. “We will continue to balance the projects that can start quickly and make necessary transportation improvements with projects that lay the foundation for solid and sustained long term growth of the Massachusetts economy.”

To learn more about Massachusetts Recovery Plan and download a list of the second round projects visit: http://www.mass.gov/eot/recovery. For transportation news and updates visit EOT’s blog at http://www.mass.gov/blog/transportation or follow them on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/massdot.

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