Update on Kelley's Corner Work - August 4 2014

In response to a recent Acton Forum article on work being done to upgrade the Kelley's Corner sidewalks (see http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/kelleys-corner-uncoordinated) State Rep. Jen Benson's District Director, Meagan Greene, sent us the following update:

"I spoke to the MassDOT and the work that is currently being done at the intersection involves reconstructing the wheelchair ramps to meet Ada requirements. The project is federally funding through the STIP under the Statewide ADA Retrofit Program. The Town is interested in making geometric improvements at the intersection, but the funding strategy for those improvements have not yet been identified. The goal of the SW ADA programs is to retrofit existing locations where there are ADA compliance issues in locations where feasible.

"The funding for the current project did not come from the State Transportation Bill. I also thought it would be helpful to include (below) the joint press release that Senator Eldridge sent out regarding the Transportation Bond bill in April."

Here is the Eldridge press release:

Legislature Passes $13 Billion Transportation Bond Bill

Bill authorizes funding for aging infrastructure, including the Fitchburg, South Acton line extension, progression of Kelly’s Corner, design and construction of the Bruce Freeman rail trail for Acton

BOSTON-- The Legislature voted to pass a $13 billion transportation bond bill that will make critical investments in the structural budget gap of the state’s transportation system. This conferenced bond bill (H.4046) will authorize $13 billion in capital spending over the next five years to fund improvements to the state’s transportation system and includes a one-year $300 million authorization for the Chapter 90 program to fund local projects such as rebuilding and repairing roads and bridges.

“I am pleased that the Legislature worked together to craft a transportation bond bill to invest in every community in Massachusetts and complete critical road, bridge and public transportation projects,” said Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton). “I was proud to vote for this transportation legislation in order to continue to improve the quality of life for people in MetroWest and attract more companies to create jobs.”

“Funding transportation is one of the most important functions of government, and I am proud to have voted for this bill,” said Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord). “We must adequately fund transportation in order to get people get to work, move goods from one place to another, and grow the economy.”

“I was happy to join my colleagues in the Legislature to pass the Transportation Bond Bill, and delighted that it will have a direct impact on transportation in the Middlesex District,” stated Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg). “It is excellent to see a bill that addresses transportation issues across the Commonwealth, as it allocates funds for both public transportation expansion, and local transportation related projects. Each of these improvement projects will certainly have long-lasting impacts on the state’s entire transportation infrastructure system.”

A number of major transportation projects in Acton that received authorization to fund certain projects:

* $500,000 to study the cost and feasibility of using current commuter rail infrastructure for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s Fitchburg, South Acton line continuing to run along the tracks into Albany, New York;

* $1,000,000 for the design and construction of the Bruce Freeman rail trail bridge over state highway route 2 in the towns of Acton and Concord;

* $3,000,000 for the progression of the Kelly's Corner at state highway routes 111 and 27 design phase from 25 per cent to 100 per cent in order to begin construction work on the intersection

The bill requires municipalities to be notified of their Chapter 90 appropriation before March 1st of each year. To support the Complete Streets Program, the bill authorizes $50 million in spending and creates a grant program to provide funding to municipalities that promote all modes of transportation, including walking, cycling, public transportation, automobiles and freight.

The bill was passed by the House and Senate, passed through Conference Committee and now goes to the Governor to be signed into law.

FURTHER UPDATE AUGUST 5, 2014: All three legislative offices that we contacted have responded with information. Senator Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Cory Atkins' office both made sure that our questions were fully answered. Thanks to all local legislators for their assistance! Allen.

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