Washington (September 15, 2020) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chairmen Richard E. Neal (MA-01) and James P. McGovern (MA-02), and Representatives Katherine Clark (MA-05), Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-04), and Lori Trahan (MA-03) today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded a $21 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). This federal funding will help MassDOT complete the I-495/I-90 Interchange Improvements Project, which will enhance safety and address chronically deficient traffic conditions at this critical junction between two of the most crucial highways in Massachusetts.
On an average day, I-495 carries approximately 110,000 vehicles while I-90 accommodates 100,000 vehicles. The interchange connecting these highways is used by nearly half of freight trucks entering Eastern Massachusetts and serves as a major junction for commuter traffic, with approximately 75,000 vehicles using the interchange every day. Regrettably, the interchange suffers from chronically deficient traffic conditions and safety issues. The federal funding announced today will help MassDOT redesign and improve this junction, as well as make associated mainline improvements on I-495 and I-90.
“The I-495/I-90 Interchange is a critical artery for commerce and transportation across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Markey. “MassDOT’s Interchange Improvements Project is absolutely necessary to increase the efficiency of freight and commuter movement, enhance safety, and support planned growth in the region. I am proud to have helped secure the federal funding we need to support this vital project, and I thank my colleagues in the Massachusetts delegation for their partnership.”
“This federal investment for I-495/I-90 Interchange Improvements Project is wonderful news for Massachusetts residents, commuters, and businesses. Securing this funding for our highway system will help improve traffic conditions and safety across the Commonwealth, and I'm glad to have partnered with my colleagues to help deliver for this critical project,” said Senator Warren.
“I have always said that the best way to assist our communities is with a healthy infusion of infrastructure investments,” said Rep. Neal, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “This not only puts our residents to work but it allows ease of mobility, especially in the case of this project. I am proud that the advocacy my colleagues and I undertook for this to become a reality was successful.”
“Securing the funds to rebuild this interchange is a big deal. This is not just about improving traffic patterns, it’s about investing in our country’s future and spending money on projects that enhance people’s safety and improve their quality of life,” said Rep. McGovern, Chairman of the House Rules Committee. “As someone who drives this section of the Mass Pike often, I‘ve seen how bad the traffic can get at these exits. I also know that when we invest in our transportation infrastructure, we can solve these problems in a smart and sustainable way. I’m proud of our delegation’s partnership with MassDOT to help secure this vital grant, and I‘ll keep working to bring funding like this to our Commonwealth so we can build a transportation system that works for everyone.”
“Tens of thousands of Massachusetts drivers depend on the I-495/I-90 Interchange every single day. Improving on this core component of our state’s transportation system will help local businesses move more products, get more people to work, and keep us safer,” said Rep. Clark. “I am particularly proud to have helped secure this BUILD grant funding for MassDOT’s Interchange Improvements Project through my role on the House Appropriations Committee. These federal dollars will help ensure the timely completion of this project and move Massachusetts forward.”
“For the families, workers and travelers that rely on this interchange, critical safety and infrastructure improvements are long overdue,” said Rep. Kennedy. “This federal funding will ensure state and local officials can keep our roads safe today and for years to come.”
“This valuable federal investment will go a long way in helping MassDOT’s efforts to improve the Commonwealth’s highway system,” said Rep. Trahan. “Not only will this project reduce congestion at one of our state's most vital interchanges, but it will also keep hundreds of thousands of Bay Staters safe during their commutes. I look forward to securing additional federal funding like this to upgrade Massachusetts' infrastructure.”
“It’s essential that we invest in regional transportation projects — especially in the Metro West and I-495 area,” said Massachusetts State Senate President Karen E. Spilka. “These are critical not just to locals, but to the economy of the whole state. This year, as fewer people are out, is the perfect time to go forward with projects which revitalize the infrastructure in our Commonwealth. I thank Senator Ed Markey and the entire Massachusetts delegation in Congress for their leadership in securing this funding.”