Record $545.M Spent on Roads, Bridges in in Bay State in 2007

Fri September 26, 2008 - Northeast Edition

MassHighway spent a record $545.5 million on road and bridge projects in Massachusetts last year as the Patrick Administration launched a streamlining effort designed to complete these projects in a shorter time span.

“Gov. Patrick this year signed two transportation bond bills, together representing more than $5 billion in investments in road and bridge projects across the Commonwealth over three years,” said Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen. “MassHighway has committed to completing projects at least forty percent faster, saving millions of dollars in inflation costs.”

“This fiscal 2008 spending record on road and bridge projects shows MassHighway’s commitment to an aggressive streamlining process that will see critical projects through to completion on a faster timetable,” said MassHighway Commissioner Luisa Paiewonsky. “An unprecedented number of projects are being advertised which will result in MassHighway exceeding the spending record again in fiscal 2009. We will continue to prioritize projects that improve safety and mobility throughout Massachusetts.”

Some of major ongoing projects include the $186 million Brightman Street Bridge in Fall River/Somerset, the $55 million Great River Bridge in Westfield and the $94 million Chelsea Street drawbridge in Boston/Chelsea. In September, MassHighway will begin a $23.6 million rehabilitation of the Hadley overpass in North Adams.

The MassHighway streamlining initiative involves eliminating unnecessary procedures, introducing time-saving technology and incorporating incentives and penalties associated with keeping projects on budget and on time. The public has access to the process through MassHighway’s new Web-based “Scorecard”, which includes information on project delivery, road and bridge conditions, travel safety and mobility.

The transportation bond bill infuses federal matching transportation dollars with state Chapter 90 transportation funds to communities across the Commonwealth.