You have 0 free articles left this month.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that includes funding for three local projects — two in Lynn and one in Peabody, according to Sixth District Congressman Seth Moulton. Funds toward a possible Blue Line expansion into Lynn were not included.
The three projects are Lynn Complete Streets, rehabilitation of the Lynn Commuter Rail station and the Peabody Canal/RiverWalk construction project.
The funding is part of the INVEST Act (Investing in a New Vision for Environment and Surface Transportation). Moulton had included the Blue Line project in a list of requests his office sent to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, said his spokesman, Tim Biba. MassDOT did not sign off on it.
“We had to have a letter of support from a governmental agency — such as MassDOT — that would match federal funds with state and local funds,” Biba said. “That was for all of the rail projects we were going to submit. We sent that list to MassDOT because we wanted to make sure we got state support.
“When MassDOT sent us back their list, the Blue Line was not on it,” said Biba, “so we couldn’t pass it on. But make no mistake, he’ll be back next year. This is a big priority for him. He sees it as vital for transforming Lynn and its economy.”
Moulton had requested all the funding from the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure — of which he is a member — in May.
The bill must still advance through the Senate, which has yet to pass its own surface transportation bill. If it does, Moulton will have secured almost $19.6 million into his district. However, the inclusion of Member Designated Projects has been opposed by Republicans, his office said.
The City of Lynn has requested $560,000 to extend roadway reconstruction and safety improvements currently under construction in downtown Lynn. The street section will be designed to a Complete Street standard, and, at a minimum, will include enhanced pedestrian, environment and traffic calming elements to improve safety and access to all users.
Complete Streets are streets designed and operated to enable safe use and support mobility for all users.
Lynn also requested $10 million for the rail station, which would allow MassDOT and the MBTA to reconstruct the existing Commuter Rail platform, adding weather protection for passengers and upgrading the mechanical and electrical systems at the station.
The City of Peabody has asked for $6.6 million for the Canal/RiverWalk construction. It would provide for a multimodal riverwalk while simultaneously replacing the failing south canal wall. The city also hopes to improve resiliency, address site contamination associated with the historical use of the area as a former tannery district, and create an open space resource that enhances public access and vitality.
The section is also part of the Border to Boston Trail.
“Passing the INVEST Act through the House is a huge step forward towards funding some of my major priorities for Massachusetts,” Moulton said in a statement. “These projects will give people more choices for how they get around, which means more freedom from traffic congestion.
“It was disappointing to see most Republicans vote against a transformational infrastructure bill, and it remains a fight to get this through the Senate, but we are one big step closer to funding important projects for the great people I represent.”
Member Designated Projects allow members of Congress to request funding for transportation projects. Moulton has made modernizing the nation’s transportation system a top priority and is a leading advocate in Congress for a high-speed rail.