MassDOT investment plan calls for MBTA, highway improvements

Traffic on I-93 in Hooksett. (Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki)
Traffic on I-93 in Hooksett. (Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki)

Basing its plans on current state funding projections, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation said it aims to sink money into upgrading the state’s highways and bridges, replacing MBTA trains and trollies, and reducing traffic congestion, among other things.

MassDOT on Thursday released its 65-page five-year capital investment plan, which outlines a $12.4 billion program that would make long-term investments in the state’s transportation network.

The plan includes $1.3 billion to complete the Green Line Extension, providing full service to Somerville and Medford by 2020. An investment of $835 million would be used to start a $1.3 billion replacement of 43-year old Red line and 31-year old Orange Line vehicles, and also to make improvements to tracks, signals and systems.

The entire Green Line fleet would be replaced by 2021 for the price tag of $2.6 million, according to the plan.

Transportation officials also aim to get the ball rolling on the South Coast Rail, finish all electronic tolling on the I-90 Turnpike, and complete track and signal projects to allow permanent service on the Cape Flyer.

An investment of $252 million will expand Silver Line service and establish a new “Indigo Line” using the Fairmount commuter rail corridor, providing faster, more reliable service to that region.

MassDOT will host six public meetings across the state to get feedback on the draft plan, which is expected to be delivered to the MassDOT Board of Directors for consideration in February.

Check out the full list of plans below:

  • $1.3 billion to complete the Green Line Extension, providing full service to Somerville and Medford by 2020.
  • $835 million to begin the $1.3 billion replacement program of 43-year old Red line vehicles and 31-year old Orange Line vehicles, as well as improvements to tracks, signals and systems.
  • $254 million for South Coast Rail, including early action improvements to rail ties, signal systems and bridges, as well as beginning preliminary engineering for the project.
  • $252 million for implementation of diesel multiple unit service (DMU) on the Fairmount Line and expansion of the Silver Line to Chelsea.
  • $3.3 billion for the rehabilitation and maintenance of bridges, including nearly $1.7 billion to complete historic Accelerated Bridge Program “mega” projects such as the Longfellow Bridge, Whittier Bridge in Amesbury and Braga Bridge in Fall River.
  • $260 million to rehabilitate the I-91 Springfield Viaduct from the North End Bridge to the Memorial Bridge and review Viaduct options in downtown Springfield.
  • $240 million for reconstruction of the I-93/95 Interchange in Canton, which facilitates private sector investment in the University Station development in the town of Westwood.
  • $161 million for the realignment of the I-90 Turnpike in Allston.
  • $160 million to complete the conversion to All Electronic Tolling on the I-90 Turnpike from New York to Boston and the harbor tunnels, including funds to begin ramp and road reconfiguration in FY2016.
  • $192 million for advanced communications and traffic control technologies to reduce congestion and delays.
  • $1.5 billion for municipal projects, including $200 million per year for Chapter 90 and $582 million in other municipal projects identified for the first time in a comprehensive project list.
  • $250 million for a statewide portfolio of Aeronautics projects focused on maintenance and repair of runways, hangers and navigation systems.
  • $34 million for the Housatonic Railroad, including the rehabilitation of tunnels, track and signals in advance of eventual rail line acquisition.
  • $31 million to complete track and signal projects necessary to restore permanent, seasonal Cape Flyer passenger service to Cape Cod.
  • $211 million for regional transit services, including $15 million for the purchase of senior citizen transportation vans for the local Councils on Aging and $196 million for the replacement of Regional Transit Authority buses and improvements to maintenance depots and intermodal facilities such as a new Pioneer Valley Transit Authority maintenance facility.
  • $99.5 million for a comprehensive modernization effort of the RMV’s 20-year old Automated License and Registration Renewal System (ALARS) that includes the archiving of twenty years of data, removing old software and building a new, modern computer system.
  • $43.0 million to advance the “Reimagining RMV” plan, in collaboration with the ALARS project, to significantly upgrade the quality of services provided by the department

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



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