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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $6.1 Million in Grants for Massachusetts Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs with road repairs, bridge replacement and improvements to ferry vessels

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced nearly $6.1 million in grants to fund an array of highway-related efforts in Massachusetts, such as street improvements to Boston's Commonwealth Avenue and replacing a structurally deficient bridge in Easthampton.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Massachusetts residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funding available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting, and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Massachusetts received funding for the following projects:

Modifications to Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority vessels to end dumping of waste into coastal waters $1,270,000
Development of "Mile of Mills" Riverwalk along the Lowell Canalway in Lowell $1,000,000
Road resurfacing, sidewalk reconstruction, traffic signal upgrades and other safety improvements on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston $1,000,000
Design and engineering for Burgin Parkway Access Bridge and intersection improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists in Quincy $978,300
Improvements to the Pemberton Pier Commuter Terminal to provide a winterized waiting are, and improved loading/ unloading facilities in Nantasket Beach $555,000
Replacement of Northampton Street bridge over the Manhan River in Easthampton $300,000
Design of shared-use path near Jacob's Ladder Trail Scenic Byway in Stockbridge $293,200
Installation of informational signs along 85-mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway $220,000
Development of plans for hiking trails and other access improvements for Connecticut River Scenic Farm Byway $162,690
Construction of access road from Jacob's Ladder Trail Scenic Byway to Appalachian Trail and Blanche Barlow Acres/Goose Pond recreational area in Lee $136,080
Specialized training to help Massachussetts Department of Transportation prepare disadvantaged business enterprise firms to compete for federal highway contracts $130,950
Development of Corridor Management Plan for Connecticut River Byway $130,345



A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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