By Seth Daniel
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) and the City announced Wednesday that some $50.5 million in federal transportation funds had been allocated for two projects in the state – one of them being the long-awaited and dreaded North Washington Street Bridge replacement project.
Mass DOT announced the two upcoming highway infrastructure improvement projects in the State Transportation Improvement Plan. The other project that will receive the federal dollars is Route 44 in Raynham.
“These federal funds will allow us to invest in key transportation projects that will better allow travelers to safely and reliably get to where they need to go using their preferred mode of transportation,” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We appreciate the Federal Highway Administration distributing these important dollars and thank the MassDOT staff members who are helping improve our infrastructure and better connect people with the places that improve their quality of life.”
The City of Boston Transportation Department said the news was very welcome and they planned to advertise the project for construction bidding later this month.
“The City of Boston is grateful for the support of MassDOT in working to secure and combine funding from various sources to ensure that this project is fully funded and ready to be advertised for construction later this month,” read a statement from Boston Transportation.
State Rep. Dan Ryan said he was thankful to see movement in funding the project after so many years of planning.
“The allocation of these Federal Highway dollars is welcoming news,” he said. “Congressman Capuano prioritized these funds years ago, knowing that it takes years to move from conception to reality. I thank him for his vigilance in this corridor. I also want to thank the Baker and Walsh administrations for prioritizing this work through MassDOT and the BTD, respectively. Now the real work begins. Our community needs to come together and work with these departments to make daily life as manageable as possible while this infrastructure wish becomes a reality.”
That has been the kicker for the Town. While everyone knows that the project is long overdue and that the current bridge is not going to work any longer, few want to endure the years of construction tie-ups that it will cause on the only major route from Boston to Charlestown.
That discussion has been breached in the last few years, but the details have yet to be agreed upon between the city and the community.