WOBURN/READING – The Wednesday visit by Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey to Woburn City Hall and then to the New Boston Street bridge site near the Wilmington line also drew attention to the plight of I-93/I-95 roadways in Reading and Woburn - arguably the worst interchange in the state.
While the New Boston Street bridge remains on the long-range radar of the state, the I-93/I-95 project is more realistic.
“That is scheduled,” said Rep. James Dwyer, D. Woburn when asked.
Dwyer represents Precincts 2-5 in Reading and Wards 2-6 in Woburn. His area covers both the New Boston Street bridge and I-93-I-95 interchange area.
The Dept. of Transportation officials also harkened back to a visit by Gov. Deval Patrick, who spoke in North Reading in mid-February and spoke of the urgency of many projects, including the I-93/I-95 conundrum
Patrick at the time dwelled on the value of transportation investments to unlock long-term economic development across the Commonwealth, as his $1 billion transportation bond idea unfolded for upgrading transportation in the site.
The Patrick-Murray Administration’s 21st Century Transportation Plan includes a $1 billion annual investment in the Commonwealth’s transportation system to maintain the current transportation assets in place today and launch a number of high-impact transportation projects across Massachusetts “that, if built, will create thousands of jobs and spur economic development across the Commonwealth and improve the quality of life.”
Patrick was quoted as saying: “The biggest improvement under the proposal is the reconstruction of the I-93/I-95 interchange in Reading, Woburn, Stoneham and Wakefield. The $320 million project will reconstruct the busiest interchange in the Commonwealth to make it simpler, safer and allow for more efficient vehicle movements.”
“In our visits to each and every corner of the Commonwealth, we have heard one consistent message: the folks that drive on our roads, ride on our trains and buses, and use our pedestrian and cycling amenities want more transportation services, not less,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Davey. “Making these investments, our transportation network will be able to move our current workforce and strong enough to support continued economic growth.”
The plan also calls for the rehabilitation of Route 38 in Wilmington, the Main Street Bridge in North Reading, construction of the Ballardvale Street Bridge in Wilmington and the resurfacing of Route 133 in Essex and Ipswich, Route 113 in West Newbury, among other areas.
Route 38 leads from Main Street in North Woburn through Wilmington to Tewksbury. The road is often used to exit-and-enter Woburn Street in Wilmington that leads to the proposed New Boston Street bridge area - a bridge torn down in 1977.
The Patrick plan also brings the total apportionment of Chapter 90 funds, which pay for the reconstruction of locally owned roads and bridges, up to $300 million from $200 million.
In the Governor’s State of the Commonwealth address and in his budget announcement in January, Patrick laid out a plan to help grow jobs by making investments in education, innovation and infrastructure and expand opportunity in the near-term, while strengthening the Commonwealth in the long-term.