MassDOT Submits Federal Discretionary Funding Applications to Improve Multi-Modal Transportation Options Across the Commonwealth
Project submissions include Somerville-Everett Pedestrian & Bicycle Connection, Lynnway Center-Running Bus Lanes, and Knowledge Corridor Rail Passenger Safety & Security Improvements
Applications have been submitted for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant Program
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced the submission of three federal grant applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to seek funding from a federal discretionary grant program to improve travel and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, rail and public transportation customers across the Commonwealth.
Three separate project applications have been submitted for the USDOT’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant Program, which if awarded, would be used to create a pedestrian and bicycle connection over the Mystic River between Somerville and Everett; install center-running bus lanes on the Lynnway; and improve the safety and security of passenger rail in the Knowledge Corridor, (a corridor encompassing 49.5 miles between Northfield and Springfield.)
“This federal discretionary grant program gives us an opportunity to take on multi-modal projects that will increase and improve safer public travel options across the Commonwealth,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “RAISE Grants have the potential to open doors to safer, more efficient, and more secure travel where we have seen a demand from the public for improved connections and we appreciate the support of community members and advocates who have worked closely with members of the MassDOT team to put forth these comprehensive project applications.”
The three MassDOT RAISE Grant applications, outlined in detail below, are subject to selection by the USDOT and specific RAISE Grant Program criteria which includes investments in transportation projects with local and regional impacts that also achieve national objectives. Previously, the program has awarded over $8.9 billion to projects throughout the nation. For this round of grant applications, USDOT has appropriated $1 billion total in RAISE grants prioritizing projects that can improve racial equity, reduce the effects of climate change, and create jobs, with a maximum grant of $25 million for one project proposal and a total for each state of $100 million. This round of RAISE grants is scheduled to be awarded by November 22, 2021.
Somerville-Everett Pedestrian & Bicycle Connection ($25 Million)
This application seeks $25 million in federal RAISE Grant funding for the Mystic River Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge connecting the Harborwalk Connector and Northern Strand Community Trail on the Everett side of the Mystic River to the Draw Seven Park on the Somerville side. The project would provide important pedestrian and bicycle access from the Lower Broadway neighborhood of Everett, including the recently opened Encore Boston Harbor resort, to the MBTA Orange Line Assembly Station.
Lynnway Center-Running Bus Lanes ($11 Million)
This application seeks approximately $11 million in funding for center-running bus lanes, pedestrian safety, and bicycle connectivity along the Lynnway (Route 1A), which provides a critical link from downtown Lynn through Revere to the MBTA Blue Line at Wonderland Station. The MBTA serves about 7,600 passengers on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. along this corridor with MBTA Bus Routes 439, 441 and 442 and the Blue Line at Wonderland Station. There is a commuter rail station in Lynn, but many commuters choose the less expensive option of taking a bus to Wonderland Station. Center-running bus lanes, increased pedestrian safety, and a bicycle lane will improve bus travel & commute times, allow for more frequent bus trips, create a reliable connection to the Blue Line, as well as further benefits.
Knowledge Corridor Passenger Rail Safety & Security Improvements ($18 Million):
This application seeks approximately $18 million for the Knowledge Corridor Safety and Security Improvements Project to improve safety along the Knowledge Corridor, an area which represents a disproportionate amount of Amtrak reported incidents and arrests. Four passenger trains serve this corridor with station stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield. The project involves the construction and installation of various safety and security measures, including security fencing to minimize trespassing, Blue Light Emergency Call Box Stations and CCTV cameras at stations, expanded Amtrak police radio coverage, buried fiber optic cable throughout the corridor, innovative surveillance equipment such as an aerial drone and Polaris Ranger Utility Task Vehicle, and T-20 hand-thrown switch machines along the line.