As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to support economic development by strengthening public transit and rail service, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas joined MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan on Monday to announce the groundbreaking of the $17.4 million Haverhill Commuter Rail Project funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).
The project complements a $50 million ARRA-funded double-tracking and rail improvement project on the Fitchburg commuter rail line.
"We have made it a priority to invest in maintenance and repair projects like this one that will improve the experience for commuter rail and transit riders throughout the Commonwealth," said Gov. Patrick.
"These Recovery Act funds will create jobs by improving our public transportation infrastructure and decreasing commute times for residents along the Haverhill line," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "This is an excellent investment and I want to thank Governor Patrick and Lt. Governor Murray for their continued efforts to derive the broadest benefit for the Commonwealth from these federal funds."
The ARRA project will improve reliability and service for Haverhill commuter rail line customers with the installation of a double-track along the Haverhill line and improvements to the train control systems that have affected on-time performance. It has already resulted in the hiring of twelve new construction jobs to help complete the required work.
The double-track will allow trains to use a new second track to maneuver around disabled trains and maintain service near scheduled levels. New signal systems and track circuits will enhance system reliability and safety for passengers and at crossing through neighboring cities and towns.
Completion of the double-track work is slated for December 2010, with the signal project to begin in 2011.