Complete Streets Funding Program awards $3-million in grants for infrastructure improvements

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The Complete Streets Funding Program has awarded nearly $3 million to eleven communities across the state to fund local, multimodal infrastructure projects that improve accessibility for bicyclists, pedestrians, public transit users, and people using other forms of transportation.

A “Complete Street” is one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes and for all people, taking into account the ages and abilities of individuals. The Baker-Polito Administration has now awarded a total of approximately $33 million in construction funding since creating a funding program for Complete Streets in February 2016.

To date, 187 municipalities have approved policies and 136 have approved Prioritization Plans. Over the 5-year period which began July 1, 2018, MassDOT expects to spend over $7.6 billion on roadway and bridge construction projects. This includes support for the Municipal Small Bridge and Complete Streets Funding Programs, two local funding programs created by the Baker-Polito Administration.

Four communities in western Massachusetts have been approved during this round of funding:

Great Barrington will receive $222,077 for a sidewalk extension on Housatonic Main Street. This project will fill a pedestrian network gap by extending the sidewalk along the south side of Main Street in Housatonic from the current end of sidewalk at 1045 Main Street to the future Housy Rail Trail near the intersection of Route 41 and North Plain Road. Seven new ADA compliant curb ramps will be installed along the length of the new sidewalk. The new ramps will create a new mid-block crossing on Main St., and new crossings at South St. and Oak Ave to increase pedestrian safety. Construction of the new sidewalk segment along this important corridor for residents will create a safe pedestrian connection to two open space and recreation areas in this neighborhood.

Montague will receive $311,360 for town-wide pedestrian and bicycle improvements. Crosswalks, ADA compliant curb ramps and curb extensions will be installed on Main Street. Transit improvements will be installed at the at the Franklin Regional Transit Authority’s bus stop at the Millers Falls Road/Unity Street/High Street intersection including a crosswalk, sidewalks, bike racks, and a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon. At the First Street/Avenue A intersection, work will include sidewalk improvements and a sidewalk extension along First Street to connect Avenue A to the Canalside Bike Path and the Unity Park riverfront. A separated bike lane will be added on Avenue A from 7th Street to 11th Street to help establish a corridor for people biking to connect to the two most populated areas in Franklin County: Turners Falls and Greenfield.

Whately will receive $209,585 for town center improvements. This project will reconstruct sidewalks and construct new sections where there are gaps in the existing sidewalk infrastructure on both sides of Chestnut Plain Road from the Center School/cemetery to the Whately Town Hall. The project also includes the installation of  crosswalks with ADA compliant curb ramps and pedestrian crossing warning signs at four locations across Chestnut Plain Road: at Center School/cemetery, at Whately Public Library, at Town Hall and at Congregational Church. Chestnut Plain Road is the main road through the town center in Whately and these improvements will promote safe multimodal access to many town center locations for people walking.

Williamsburg will receive $275,000 for pedestrian network improvements, including the construction of sidewalk along the east side of South Street from the current sidewalk terminus at #5 South Street to Eastern Avenue. South Street in an important corridor that connects residents to the Anne T. Dunphy School, the former Helen E. James School, and the Williamsburg Town Center. In addition, new sidewalk will also be constructed along the south side of East Main Street from the Boy Scout House (end of guardrail) to Valley View Road.  This will fill an important network gap by connecting the existing sidewalk along the south side of Nash Hill Road to the existing sidewalk along the north side of East Main Street. ADA-compliant wheelchair ramps will be constructed at each newly restriped crosswalk to increase pedestrian safety and travel lane widths will be reduced along the bridge on East Main Street between Mill Street and Valley View Road.

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