As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Works program promoting job growth and long-term economic recovery, Governor Deval Patrick today joined local leaders at the Neponset River Bridge to highlight state investment in repairs to the bridge. The $35 million rehabilitation of the Neponset River Bridge, now underway, is funded by the Governor's historic eight-year, $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP) for repairing deficient and obsolete bridges across the Commonwealth.
"The Neponset River Bridge is a lifeline for tens of thousands of commuters and another example of how we are committed to making up for the decades of neglect facing our roads and bridges," said Governor Patrick. "The reconstruction of this important bridge will improve public safety and be a lasting symbol of our renewed investment in Commonwealth infrastructure for decades to come."
"We are not only repairing one of our most important and busiest bridges but are doing so while working very closely with state and City officials to manage traffic as efficiently as possible in order to reduce the impact on commuters and area residents during the construction period," said MassDOT Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan.
Launched in April 2010, the Neponset River Bridge Phase II project will provide a full deck replacement, with the new bridge built to last 75 years. The project also includes improved pedestrian and bicycle access. In response to traffic flow concerns, MassDOT has implemented a traffic management plan that provides a third northbound lane across the majority of the bridge during the weekday morning commute. MassDOT held public meetings in Dorchester and Quincy to present the traffic plans prior to beginning of the work.
To view a YouTube video of MassDOT engineers explaining the traffic management plan, click here.
"This project is a great example of the investments Governor Patrick is making across the Commonwealth, creating good jobs now, and the infrastructure for a strong economy for years to come," said Rep. Martin Walsh.
"The Neponset River Bridge is a vital artery to Boston, not only for Quincy, but for the entire South Shore. We are delighted to see the progress being made on the project," said Mayor Thomas P. Koch.
Since the inception of the Accelerated Bridge Program in 2008, the number of structurally deficient bridges has dropped from 543 to 494, a decline of more than 9%. These reductions are the result of investments made to infrastructure projects across the state through the ABP, federal stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Statewide Road and Bridge Program.
As a result of ABP alone, 13 bridge projects are already complete, with another 62 bridge projects scheduled for construction this coming season. Over the course of the program, at least 200 bridges will see active construction.
Together, investment in roads and bridges has grown from $515 million in FY 2007 to a projected $1.1 billion in FY 2010. The road and bridge construction program will support more than 10,000 jobs on 385 separate projects across the Commonwealth. Additionally, MassDOT has reduced the time from construction contract advertisement to construction start from 218 days in 2008 to 124 days in 2009 - a more than 43 percent drop in wait time. For ARRA projects, the timeline from construction contract advertisement to notice to proceed was reduced to 48 days, allowing MassDOT to put people to work on construction projects faster than ever before.
For more information on the Neponset River Bridge project, including construction and traffic updates, visit www.mass.gov/massdot/neponset.
To learn more about Massachusetts Works, visit www.mass.gov/governor/massworks. For additional information on how the Patrick-Murray Administration's agenda has led Massachusetts out of a global recession faster and stronger than the rest of the nation, visit www.mass.gov/governor/agenda.
MassDOT is the new, unified transportation organization created in 2009 under the historic reform legislation passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick. MassDOT's four divisions are focused on delivering safe and efficient transportation services across the Commonwealth. For transportation news and updates, visit the MassDOT website at www.mass.gov/massdot, the MassDOT blog at www.mass.gov/blog/transportation or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot.