SAUGUS — Saugus and Revere have been awarded a $425,000 state grant to improve Route 1.
The money comes from a Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Community Mitigation Fund Joint Transportation Planning grant, which is given to communities surrounding casinos to assist in offsetting costs related to construction and operation.
In this most recent round of funding, the commission awarded $4.1 million to several cities and towns across the state. The money awarded to Saugus and Revere will be used toward the planning and design of improvements along Route 1.
This is the third joint grant Saugus and Revere have received from the commission since Saugus Town Manager Scott Crabtree and Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo filed a joint application for funding in 2017.
In anticipation of the new Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett and the traffic congestion on Route 1 and Route 99, Crabtree teamed up with Arrigo and applied for funding to begin making necessary capital improvements to the well-traveled road.
“It is a top priority to continue to provide the residents and visitors of Saugus with the safest and most reliable infrastructure,” said Crabtree.
The commission supported Saugus and Revere’s plan, and awarded the communities a Joint Transportation Planning grant of $150,000 in 2017 to hire a transportation planning specialist and an additional $275,000 in 2018 to undergo preliminary design for elements of the Route 1 Improvement Project.
Previous awards were used to collect traffic and crash data, review and assess the corridor geometry and right of way, develop related budgetary estimates of construction costs, and to pay for a planning specialist.
The $150,000 allotment has been used to focus primarily on the Route 1 project, and enable the consultant team to become better acquainted with the road’s history, relevant documents and previous findings.
On Jan. 30, 2019, the pair filed an application for the 2019 Transportation Planning Grant, requesting the additional $425,000 to continue the effort.
This money will allow Saugus and Revere to focus on smaller transportation improvement projects along Routes 1 and 99 that will seek to mitigate traffic impacts from the new Encore Casino, said Crabtree.
“We strive to continue to work together with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and the City of Revere to make essential roadway improvements
along these major arteries that will help alleviate existing traffic and offset anticipated traffic resulting from the increased volume of vehicles visiting the new casino,” he said.