BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and State Representative Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett), House Chair of the Transportation Committee, have announced that earlier today a contract was signed for the construction of the second phase of a shared-use path in Mattapoisett.

The award of the $7 million contract was made public by Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver during a meeting attended by Representative Straus, who has been a key advocate for the project.  The proposed path will extend from Mattapoisett Neck Road to Depot Street and will connect to the path that currently exists heading west through Mattapoisett and Fairhaven that terminates at the Fairhaven/New Bedford Harbor.

“Transportation is about making meaningful connections and improving people’s quality of life,” said Administrator Gulliver.  “This extension is a prime example of delivering a transformative project through collaboration and advocacy – I would like to thank Chairman Straus and the many groups in Mattapoisett that made this project a reality,”

MassDOT anticipates issuing the Notice to Proceed for this project within the next few weeks.  The project was advertised to bid in September 2018, and the bids were opened in January 2019 with D.W White of Acushnet having been deemed the apparent low bidder.

“A connected bike path through Mattapoisett has been a major priority for community members for many years, so it is gratifying to learn that we will soon be breaking ground on the next critical segment into Mattapoisett village,” said Representative Straus.  “I want to thank Governor Baker for his commitment to this project. State support has been essential.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to pursue opportunities that both enhance the state’s vast network of trails and expands access to the natural world that surrounds us,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “Once complete, this project will provide a great opportunity to further connect local neighborhoods and the region, which will truly benefit the public for years to come.”

The new shared-use path will also serve as part of a larger trail network that seeks to connect the communities of Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, and Wareham.

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has constructed or funded 150 miles of paved trails, adding to the current statewide inventory of 565 miles of paved trails. Over 30 miles of trails spanning over a dozen projects are currently expected to be completed across the Commonwealth in 2018.

In 2017, the Administration also established an Interagency Trails Team which is led by the Governor's office and is comprised of staff from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The purpose of the team is to help develop a unified vision for a trails network and translate that into strategic investments, policy innovation to facilitate the development of trails, and an enhanced relationship with municipal partners.

MassDOT's five-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP) sets aside $180 million for multi-use pathways as well as $60 million for high-priority projects through the Statewide Pedestrian and Bicycle Plans that are currently being completed.

--Information provided by MassDOT


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