The Governor has unveiled a large and ambitious set of transportation infrastructure investments in his recently released budget and transport finance plans. The Mass DOT has released the full list on their website, and I have posted those projects below. As mentioned in earlier posts the Legislature will now have some choices to make. Don’t like the South Coast Rail project? Cut it and save $1.8 billion. You get the idea. No funds, no projects. Any projects that you think are important? Not so important?
Regional Priority Projects ($930 million) – Funds three major highway projects, including the I-91 viaduct in Springfield, the I-93/I-95 interchange in Woburn and the I-93/I-95 Interchange in Canton. These projects will address safety and mobility concerns in severely crowded areas.
Chapter 90 ($1.0 billion) – An additional $100 million per year to help the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns improve local roads and bridges.
Bridge program ($1.175 billion) – Funds a new targeted program modeled after the successful Accelerated Bridge Program (which ends in 2016) to accelerate repair to local bridges and complete several larger bridges.
Multimodal Highway Program ($1.25 billion) – Funds a statewide portfolio of local and regional projects designed to improve safety, reduce the number of high crash locations and reduce congestion. This also includes $250 million for the transportation assets owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
Highway Preservation Facilities & Systems ($400 million) – Targeted funding for a municipal small bottlenecks program; safety and operational improvements at depots; deployment of roadside traffic and travel information; equipment procurements and completion of an integrated asset management system.
Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities ($430 million) — Dedicated funding to construct and improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities owned and managed by MassDOT and DCR.
RTA Vehicles ($400 million) — Funds a 10-year program to replace regional buses that have exceeded their useful life, add buses for expanded service and support replacement of other equipment and facility upgrades, resulting in fewer delays and improved reliability.
New MBTA Red and Orange Line Cars ($1.5 billion) – Funds the replacement of 43-year-old Red Line cars and 31-year-old Orange Line cars as well as improvements to tracks, signals and systems. The new cars and system upgrade will result in faster and less crowded commutes. The cars will be made in Massachusetts, supporting the local economy.
Red Line Car #3 Overhaul ($200 million) – Overhauls the newest Red Line cars, which are nearly 20 years old.
Green Line Cars ($732 million) – Funds new Green Line cars and system improvements, reducing wait times and allowing for more 3-car trains that enable increased passenger capacity. The cars will be made in Massachusetts, supporting the local economy.
MBTA Buses ($450 million) – Accelerates a 10-year program to replace buses that have exceeded their useful life, increasing capacity and reducing breakdowns.
MBTA Power Facilities & Operations ($300 million) – Funds critical upgrades to decades-old electrical service, fuel systems, water pumps, track, tunnel and other infrastructure that is essential for the timely operation of trains and buses. Coupled with new subway vehicles trips will be faster and more reliable.
Aeronautics ($125 million) – Addresses maintenance and safety improvements at our general aviation airports. These investments will help support jobs in the aviation industry.
Registry of Motor Vehicles ($150 million) – Funding to allow for the consolidation of current registry branches into new regional super centers; development and installation of self-service kiosks at retail and municipal centers for customer convenience.
Modernization Pilot Projects ($200 million) – Funds the piloting of Bus Rapid Transit and Diesel Multiple Unit services. These innovative transit options would increase mobility for residents expand business and economic opportunities.
The Patrick-Murray Administration has made targeted infrastructure investment a cornerstone of its economic development efforts. Current projects like Assembly Square Station, Wonderland Garage and Brighton Landing are leveraging major new development projects that include new housing units, office and retail and space and creating new jobs.
Recognizing the link between investments like those and a strong economy and job growth, the plan also allows for targeted expansion projects across the state. These expansions focus on areas of the state where opportunity is constrained by substandard service or by lack of access. Projects include:
South Coast Rail ($1.8 billion) – Completion of the South Coast Rail Line with diesel-fueled commuter trains to connect Boston to Fall River and New Bedford. This results in greater mobility for South Coast residents and less congestion on Route 24. The project is expected to create 3,800 jobs and generate $500 million in new economic activity statewide annually.
Green Line Extension ($674 million) – Extension of the current Green Line from relocated Lechmere station in Cambridge to College Avenue in Medford, fulfilling a commitment made during the construction of the Central Artery Project and unlocking new economic opportunity in the region.
South Station Expansion ($850 million) – Design and construction, within 10 years, of an expanded South Station that will accommodate future passenger rail growth for the existing commuter rail system, South Coast rail, Amtrack, Worcester to Springfield rail and future high-speed service to Montreal. The expansion will also allow for additional rush hour service.
Rail between Springfield and Boston ($362.4 million) –Passenger rail service directly connecting Boston with Springfield via what is known commonly as the Inland Route. Funding will cover rehabilitation along the route, creating a second track, widening bridges, upgrading signals purchasing train equipment, and constructing or rehabilitating stations. This will also support future high-speed rail connection to New York City via Springfield.
Berkshires to NYC Rail ($113.8 million) – Rehabilitation of track, signals and structures between Pittsfield and the Massachusetts-Connecticut state line to support future rail service between Pittsfield and New York City. The current line is served by freight carriers and is not up to standards necessary for commuter service.
Rail to Cape Cod ($20.8 million) – Seasonal service on weekends between Boston and Hyannis. Upgrades rail, grade crossings, bridges and station accessibility. Service during the summer season will connect a key tourist destination with Boston.