BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has issued a “Notice to Proceed” to the contractor for the Mattapoisett shared-use path project. The contractor will begin work on the path which will extend from Mattapoisett Neck Road to Depot Street. This new path will connect to the path that currently exists heading west through Mattapoisett and Fairhaven that terminates at the Fairhaven/New Bedford Harbor.

The “Notice to Proceed” comes after extensive collaboration between MassDOT, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and the communities.

“We are pleased to see construction moving forward on this transformative project,” said Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Transportation projects such as this create valuable connections between communities and improve people’s quality of life. I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support for this project.”

“I am very pleased by the issuance of the Notice to Proceed for Phase 1B of the bike path project,” said State Representative William M. Straus. “This portion of the Mattapoisett path is a long time coming, traveling through some of the most picturesque areas along the SouthCoast, while also providing better travel connections for people. I would like to thank Governor Baker for prioritizing the path and for his consistent support.”

“It is incredibly important that both residents and visitors alike have easy access to the state’s natural and recreational resources, and are provided with excellent opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to invest in the Commonwealth’s vast network of pathways and trails, which not only strengthen the bonds between communities and regions but also enable the public to benefit from a healthy, active lifestyle.”

“The Town is excited to see an important project going forward in Mattapoisett,” said Town Administrator Michael Gagne.

This $7 million extension 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.

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, and on a larger scale, part of the future 50-mile-plus SouthCoast Bikeway.

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 were 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 5-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.

--MassDOT release

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