Healey-Driscoll Administration Submits Competitive Federal Applications for Four Infrastructure Projects
BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced it has submitted federal grant applications to support the Cape Cod bridges, the Allston I-90 Multimodal project, the North Station Renovation and Draw 1 Bridge Replacement project, and the Williamsburg Route 9 Reconstruction. These projects represent a competitive bid for over $2 billion in federal funding to support sustainable, equitable, and safe transportation projects across the Commonwealth.
Sponsored under the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Biden Administration accepted applications for the FY 2023-2024 Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant (MPDG) Opportunity with a deadline of August 21, 2023, for application submission. The MPDG is an umbrella term for threecompetitive grant programs issued under a joint Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). These programs are: the National Infrastructure Project Assistance grants program (MEGA), the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight and Highways Projects grants program (INFRA), and the Rural Surface Transportation Grant program (Rural). The Healey-Driscoll Administration applied to all three funding programs as part of its competitive application process to secure federal dollars for Massachusetts infrastructure projects.
“From day one, we said our administration was going to compete for the unprecedented level of federal funding opportunities available to support infrastructure projects across our state that are crucial to our communities, economies, and environment. These ambitious applications represent an important step forward toward delivering on that promise,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We are grateful for the partnership of our state and federal delegations and our shared commitment to delivering results for the people of Massachusetts, from our rural, urban and coastal communities.”
"It’s hard to overstate the important impact these projects have on the lives on Massachusetts residents and our economy. They represent the gateway to beautiful beaches and towns of the Cape, a transformative opportunity to better connect multiple modes of transportation, improved commuter rail service, and an investment in our rural communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Our administration is proud to be putting forward competitive, ambitious applications to support these projects and take advantage of the unprecedented levels of federal infrastructure funding made available by the Biden administration.”
“MassDOT understands the needs of our residents and is using every opportunity we have to gain funding for these impactful projects,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca. “From roads and bridges to pedestrian pathways, we need to be strategic, proactive, and resilient to best serve the people of Massachusetts. I want to thank the Governor, Lieutenant?Governor, and our elected delegations for their support as we submit these applications to better infrastructure for all.”
“These grant applications are part of our whole-of-government strategy for effectively leveraging President Biden’s historic investments of federal funds to make Massachusetts more competitive, equitable and climate resilient,” said Director of Federal Funds and Infrastructure Quentin Palfrey. “If awarded these projects will further important goals for community connectivity and access to multimodal transit across the Commonwealth.”
Cape Cod Bridges
The Healey-Driscoll Administration submitted an application for competitive discretionary grant funding for the Cape Cod Bridge program, first for the Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant (MPDG) combined notices of funding opportunity, which includes the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects (INFRA) program and the National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) program. This will be closely followed this fall by application for the Bridge Investment Program (BIP). MassDOT is the lead applicant, applying jointly with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as the owner of the bridge. Through these grants, the Healey-Driscoll Administration has compiled a strong application that has the potential to win $1.45 billion in grant funding from the federal government.
This application places Massachusetts in the strongest position to get shovels in the ground quickly on the Sagamore Bridge while laying the groundwork for rebuilding the Bourne Bridge. The Healey-Driscoll Administration continues to advance the permitting and design of both bridges.
The Healey-Driscoll Administration recently included $262 million toward replacing the bridges in their Fiscal Year 2024-2028 Capital Investment Plan, with the goal of ramping up to Governor Healey’s $700 million total long-term commitment. Last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced President Biden’s budget proposal of $350 million for the Cape Cod Canal Bridges Project.
Allston I-90 Multimodal Project
The Healey-Driscoll Administration is pursuing a $200 million opportunity for a National Infrastructure Project Assistance grants program (MEGA) to support the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project. MassDOT is the lead applicant, filing jointly with the City of Boston. This application details a strengthened financial commitment and collaboration between MassDOT, Harvard University, Boston University, and the City of Boston.
This project to modernize I-90 will meet the needs of motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit riders, while supporting the growth of the local economy.?Within one mile of the project area, there are 42,000 residents; 16,000 households; 35,000 jobs; and $6.2 million in business sales. This project builds a safer, more efficient multi-modal transportation network. When built, the?total number of annual crashes?on the I-90 mainline in 2040 is?projected to significantly decrease.?There will also be improved bicycle and pedestrian accommodations with upgrades to the Paul Dudley White Path. There will be?improved neighborhood access?to the transit and the waterfront, reconnecting Allston to the Charles River Waterfront. This project incorporates connection improvements to Environmental Justice communities.
As part of this project, a?MBTA West Station?would provide connectivity to commuter rail, buses, shuttles, and bikeshare opportunities. The project’s track improvements will improve Worcester commuter rail service associated with the planned MBTA West Station, which will allow for substantially improved rail access from Central and Western Mass to and through this anticipated future jobs hub.
“The Allston Multimodal Project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the lives and livelihoods of families all across our city and region with safer roads, access to jobs, and new parks and housing,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. “In restoring the neighborhood connections lost to hulking highway infrastructure decades ago, Allston will be home to new spaces for community and access to the Charles River, along with a transit hub to serve the entire region.”
North Station Renovation and Draw 1 Bridge Replacement
The MBTA is seeking $672 million in grant funding from National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) program and the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight and Highways Projects (INFRA) program for the construction phase of the North Station Renovation and Draw 1 Bridge Replacement Project.
Draw 1 is a critical connection that carries all MBTA Commuter Rail traffic on the north side of Boston across the Fitchburg, Lowell, Haverhill, and Gloucester/ Newburyport Lines. It is the last crossing before these trains terminate at North Station. Draw 1 is also a critical asset for Amtrak’s Downeaster, as ten Downeaster trains traverse the bridge into Boston per day. This Project will support improved service, facilitating the growth of this critical New England route.
The existing bridge structure and associated signaling and control tower are outdated and in need of significant repair and maintenance, leading to service delays. In addition to replacing the bridge and upgrading signals, the project will also widen a bottleneck across the bridge from four to six tracks and extend and activate two additional tracks at North Station, resulting in significant operational improvements, strengthened service, and anticipated reduced congestion.
“The project to replace the North Station drawbridge is crucial to ensuring that we can safely and reliably provide train service in and out of North Station. It will allow us to operate trains more efficiently as we expand the number of tracks across a new bridge,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “This is a significant investment in our MBTA system to better serve the public, and we are confident that our forward strategy to pursue and secure federal funding will help us meet our capital needs. I want to thank the Healey-Driscoll administration for their leadership and support and our dedicated Finance team for their diligent work. This project is another step to fulfill our commitment to rebuild the MBTA system for our riders and for future generations.”
Williamsburg Route 9 Reconstruction
As part of the Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant (MPDG) combined notices of funding opportunity, the Healey-Driscoll Administration is applying for $44 million in funding for the Rural Surface Transportation Grant for the Williamsburg Route 9 Reconstruction. This federal grant supports projects to improve and expand surface transportation in?rural areas to increase connectivity, improve the safety and reliability?of the movement of people and freight, and generate regional?economic growth and improve quality of life.
This grant would allow MassDOT to modernize and reconstruct Route 9, a critical east-west?freight route in the region, providing?long-term?multimodal, safety and resiliency benefits. The project?includes a new shared use path parallel to the Mill River,?leveraging structural elements as armor for the roadway?embankment.
“Route 9 is a critical gateway for residents, visitors, and goods to get to and from Western Mass, including many of our rural communities,” said Rural Affairs Director Anne Gobi. “This grant application is an example of the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s commitment to strengthening connectivity between rural communities and the rest of the state, as well as improving safety and supporting economic growth for Western Mass.”
“These impactful projects will support our residents throughout Massachusetts,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “I want to thank our partners for their assistance in putting together these applications as we continue to advance key transportation priorities throughout the Commonwealth.”