Governor Deval Patrick today celebrated the grand opening of the Greater Attleboro Regional Transit Authority (GARTA) Intermodal Center, which will create more accessible transportation options for residents of Attleboro and its surrounding communities and unlock the potential for transit-oriented development in the region.
During today's ceremony, Governor Patrick also announced over $3.9 million in additional funding for the city of Attleboro through the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program to help support the development of Riverfront Drive, a road that will provide a critical connection to the Intermodal Center. The Governor also committed to assisting the city of Attleboro with the expansion of its riverfront park and trail along the Ten Mile River through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs' (EEA) Gateway City Parks Program. The new park will create quality open space and recreational opportunities for those who live and work in downtown Attleboro.
"Growth requires investment, and investing in our infrastructure and creating more green space will help catalyze growth in Attleboro and beyond," said Governor Patrick. "If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well."
"Through the collaboration and cooperation of so many stakeholders dedicated to the City of Attleboro's success, the Intermodal Transportation Center is a tremendous example of how communities can reclaim contaminated sites and convert them into economic development opportunities," said Congressman Joe Kennedy. "This Center will spur investment as Attleboro continues the redevelopment of its downtown and will support commuters across the entire region."
The GARTA Intermodal Center, supported by investments from the Patrick Administration, will provide easily accessible transportation options for residents of Attleboro and its surrounding communities and will promote the larger goal of increased transit-oriented development in the area. The Intermodal Center project included the redevelopment of abandoned properties surrounding the site, improved access to transit parking and the busway, design and construction of a new busway, shelter and associated amenities to enhance customer connection between rail and local GATRA bus service and the construction of approximately 100 MBTA commuter parking spaces to replace those impacted by the new GATRA bus facility. The new bus shelter will open to riders on Monday, November 11, 2013 and features two canopied bus ways, bicycle storage and additional parking. This extensive project was completed in just over a year and under budget. The Federal Transit Administration, MassDOT and other state agencies contributed to the total project cost of $8.6 million.
"The opening of a project like the GARTA Intermodal Center represents so much more than a way to get from point A to point B," said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. "It represents a cornerstone in the redevelopment of a great city and improved opportunities for its people."
The Intermodal Center was created as a part of the Attleboro Downtown Revitalization and Redevelopment Project, which was one of six projects selected in 2010 as part of the second round of the Patrick Administration's Brownfields Support Team (BST) Initiative that had a theme of supporting transit-oriented development. The project consists of eight unique properties along the Ten Mile River that have been contaminated with asbestos, heavy metals, PCBs, chlorinated solvents and other petroleum products due to historical commercial and industrial uses. The Attleboro BST has secured more than $7.3 million in funding from MassDevelopment, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Housing and Community Development, MassDOT and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess the contamination there, begin the cleanup and redevelop the parcels for new commercial, recreational and residential uses, including the development of important transportation-related construction for enhanced rail and bus services.
"Governor Patrick and his Administration have been paramount to the success with the City's Intermodal Development," said Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas. "Our project fulfills his vision of linking transit systems as well as increased housing development within our downtown. My team could not be successful without his unwavering support. Thank you for investing in our community and allowing us to complete the vision."
The $3.96 million in MassWorks funding announced by the Governor today will also support the revitalization of Attleboro's downtown area and will be used to construct Riverfront Drive, a 1,930 foot roadway that will connect Wall Street with Olive Street. The new roadway will provide a critical connection between downtown and the new Intermodal Transit Center, improving traffic flow and pedestrian access to the area. The new road will also free up additional land for the development of an estimated 250 new multi-family housing units and approximately 20,000 square feet of commercial space.
"We remain committed to working with local communities, like Attleboro, to help identify opportunities to maximize growth and spur regional development," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. "I look forward to our ongoing partnership with city officials and private industry leaders to explore additional ways to promote continued growth throughout the community and region."
The expansion of the City's riverfront park and trail along the Ten Mile River will be led by EEA through its Gateway City Parks Program. The park will be accessible from the Intermodal Center and adjacent to another park currently under construction. The new park will result in more than a mile of riverfront trail along the Ten Mile River in downtown Attleboro, providing recreational opportunity to residents and works in downtown, as well as improving the water quality of the Ten Mile River.
"We are excited to assist the City of Attleboro with this expansion project," said Energy and Environmental Affiars Secretary Rick Sullivan. "This park will help revitalize downtown Attleboro and promote healthy living."
All of these announcements build upon the Patrick Administration's efforts to stimulate growth in Attleboro through investments education, innovation and infrastructure. Through the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) administered by the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC), Stergis Aluminum Products has renovated their facility, creating 74 new jobs, retaining 45 and leveraging $4.2 million in private investment. The project allowed Stergis to move much of its manufacturing operations from South Carolina to Massachusetts. Jewelry manufacturer Richline Group is improving their site in Attleboro with our help, retaining 628 jobs and creating 100 more. Also through an EDIP award, jewelry manufacturer Richline Group is improving their site in Attleboro, retaining 628 jobs and creating 100 more. MAR Seafood relocated from Rhode Island to Attleboro Industrial Park, and with a $170,000 Tax Increment Financing Award, has created 35 new jobs and leveraged $2.3 million. The southeast region in whole is helping to lead the Commonwealth's clean energy revolution, with 14.3 percent growth in the sector last year, thanks to companies like Attleboro-based residential solar installer U.S. Solar Works. Since 2010, almost 200 new housing starts have also begun in Attleboro.
The Attleboro Ramp Safety Improvement project was recently completed in October to address accidents on the Route I-295 Northbound ramp to Route I-95. Prior to this project, this was the highest rollover location in the state. In 2011, funding from the Obama Administration provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) made improvements possible along Route 152 in Attleboro, where the $1.3 million project resurfaced, reconstructed and increased safety along North Main Street and South Main. Since 2008, more than $3.8 million in state and federal funding has been invested in Route 152. The Thacher School in Attleboro completed a Safe Routes to School program this past January that saw improvements that encourage students to bike or walk to school. It included the construction of new sidewalks, the fixing of existing sidewalks, construction of ADA compliant wheelchair ramps, curbing, signage and crosswalks.
"The GARTA Intermodal Center is a vital component to Attleboro's continued commitment to providing its residents with the highest level of access to transportation in and around Bristol County," said Representative Elizabeth Poirier. "I am pleased that we are remaining steadfast in our commitment to investing in crucial infrastructure and redevelopment projects which benefit all of Attleboro's citizens."
"The Attleboro Intermodal project is a key part of the City's future and I am glad that I could do my part to help make this funding a reality," said Senator Jim Timilty. "This has been a long road but a worthwhile journey that shows what can be accomplished with an excellent working partnership between municipal officials and the state. Mayor Dumas, his staff and the many Councilors over the years should take pride in today's ceremony."
Today's announcements are part of a series of events the Governor is holding throughout the fall to demonstrate the types of investments his Administration is making in every region of the Commonwealth to expand growth and opportunity to all of our residents.