FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
March 27, 2009 Colin Durrant (617) 973-7870
Adam Hurtubise (617) 973-8093
BOSTON – Thursday, March 27, 2009 – As part of Governor Deval Patrick’s Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state’s economic future, the Patrick Administration and local legislators today announced that a Route 8 resurfacing project in Cheshire will been advertised for bid on Saturday as one of the “shovel-ready” transportation projects using federal highway stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The $1.2 million project involves the resurfacing of 3.3 miles of Route 8 from the Cheshire/Lanesborough line.
Massachusetts has received the authority from the federal government to spend a total of $437.9 million on highway projects through the federal recovery law. At least $153.2 million will be committed to “shovel-ready” projects that will be advertised by June 27, 2009.
“Funds from the President’s recovery bill come to us at a critical moment, and we are well prepared to put these funds to work,” said Governor Patrick. “Thanks to a careful review process, we will soon have shovels in the ground on necessary road and bridge projects throughout the Commonwealth and start to put people back to work."
“For far too long, we have underinvested in our aging transportation infrastructure. The stimulus funds provide us with the ability to finally address necessary improvement projects while putting local people to work in these difficult economic times,” said Congressman John Olver.
“As the main corridor linking Cheshire to Pittsfield and North Adams, Route 8 is a highly traveled route in need of proper maintenance,” said State Senator Benjamin Downing. “These federal dollars come at a critical time, allowing the state to keep our highways and byways safe.”
As State Representative Denis Guyer noted: “Route 8 is a major North/South artery for Berkshire County, and I am pleased to see the Patrick-Murray administration will be moving forward with this project.”
Federal recovery transportation projects are selected from the State Transportation Improvement Plan, which is comprised of projects submitted by the state’s 13 Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) following a collaborative public review process including the public and dozens of state, regional, and local officials.
“The Cheshire project was one of many identified by our partners at the federal, state, regional and local level that address important basic road maintenance needs,” said Transportation Secretary James Aloisi, Jr. “These job creating projects, which get underway in the spring, will help jumpstart the economy and make our roads safer.”
"The Executive Office of Transportation and MassHighway have identified several important projects that can move forward immediately thanks to these recovery funds,” said Governor Patrick’s Director of Infrastructure Investment Jeffrey Simon. “Federal stimulus funds allow us to accelerate road and bridge maintenance projects while creating and maintaining jobs."
Federal officials have also announced an additional $319 million in recovery funds for transit projects at the Regional Transit Authorities and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
Federal recovery funds enhance the Patrick-Murray Administration’s two-year effort to address a legacy of neglect inherited and a $15-$19 billion maintenance backlog. The Administration working with the Legislature has approved more than $9 billion for road, bridge and transit projects through Transportation Bond bills and an historic eight-year Accelerated Bridge Repair Program.
Moving to secure our common economic future, Governor Patrick recently unveiled his Massachusetts Recovery Plan. The Governor’s plan will combine state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:
- Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
- Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
- Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.
For more information about federal transportation recovery funding visit Governor Patrick’s Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Plan website, www.mass.gov/recovery.