BOSTON (SHNS) – The old and deficient Cape Cod bridges aren’t the only major infrastructure needs for which Massachusetts officials hope to win federal funds.
The Healey administration on Monday announced it submitted federal grant applications for three other projects: a massive effort to reshape the highway, rail and pedestrian infrastructure near Interstate 90 in Allston, a North Station drawbridge replacement, and reconstruction of Route 9 in western Massachusetts.
State and city of Boston officials jointly sought $200 million in MEGA grants for the Allston multimodal project, which would replace the raised highway viaduct with a series of roadway lanes, rail tracks and pedestrian paths all at roughly the same elevation next to the Charles River. That represents a small share of the total project costs, which state officials last year projected to be roughly $2 billion. A previous city-state attempt to secure almost $1.2 billion in grants was unsuccessful.
The MBTA applied for $672 million from the MEGA and INFRA programs to replace the “Draw 1 Bridge,” which carries commuter rail trains from North Station to points north of Boston and also supports Amtrak Downeaster travel. MBTA General Manager Phil Eng said replacing the span “is crucial to ensuring that we can safely and reliably provide train service in and out of North Station.” An MBTA spokesperson said the North Station bridge project is expected to cost about $1.2 billion.
The third non-Cape project highlighted Monday is a proposal to modernize and reconstruct Route 9 in Williamsburg, which officials described as an important east-west freight route. The administration applied for $44 million toward that project. Healey last week signaled a new approach to seeking federal dollars toward replacement of the Cape bridges, focusing first on securing money for the Sagamore Bridge, after previous grant bids failed.