Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy joined members of the Legislature and local officials to announce the 2020 Round of the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program. This year’s awards will invest nearly $68 million in 36 projects to support housing, economic development and road safety projects in 35 cities and towns from across the Commonwealth. The awards were announced during a virtual ceremony, and are part of the Administration’s comprehensive economic recovery initiative, Partnerships for Recovery.
“MassWorks provides essential funding to cities and towns for infrastructure projects that spur housing production, create jobs and attract private investment, which are particularly important during our economic recovery,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are grateful for our partnerships, both with the Legislature and with local officials, that make these investments possible, and we look forward to continued collaboration to support Massachusetts’ economy.”
“The MassWorks program plays a critical role in filling in the needed funding gaps that would otherwise keep these key projects from moving forward and inhibit substantial private investments in the main streets and downtowns of municipalities across the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “By providing flexible funding to our local partners, we are empowering these communities to move ahead with projects that will have an immediate and lasting impact on their commercial districts, housing stock and residents.”
In total, the 2020 MassWorks awards will help create more than 3,500 new housing units, including over 1,000 affordable units; result in more than 3,900 new jobs, support over 7,000 construction jobs, and leverage more than $1.6 billion in private investment. Among this year’s projects, 23 are reactivating underutilized sites, 20 are transit-oriented developments, 14 have a mixed-use component; nine are in Gateway Cities, and eight are roadway projects in small and rural communities. Additionally, eight towns are receiving their first ever MassWorks award. The transformative projects funded by the 2020 awards were selected through a competitive process that received 100 applications, totaling nearly $208 million in requests.
“This year’s MassWorks round funds public infrastructure projects directly aligned with key strategic goals of our plan for economic recovery, namely, revitalizing our downtowns and main streets, getting people back to work, and supporting housing opportunity,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “As part of our administration’s laser-focus on addressing the impacts of the pandemic, MassWorks makes the kinds of targeted investments that will foster economic recovery by unlocking new commercial and residential development, while also creating jobs, both during construction and on a permanent basis once the project is complete.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the Commonwealth’s hardest hit communities, the Administration prioritized projects that are at an advanced stage of planning, design, and permitting. These projects, which are ready to start construction in spring 2021, also support strategic goals that are central to Partnerships for Recovery. For example, the City of Haverhill will use MassWorks funds for infrastructure improvements that will unlock 290 housing units and new retail space, and create 20 permanent fulltime jobs. In Leominster, water and sewer upgrades will benefit the expansion of the Mall at Whitney Field. As a result of public infrastructure investments, the cities of Brockton and Pittsfield will also realize new redevelopment opportunities through both commercial and residential projects.
“These MassWorks grants are transformative for communities across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Eric P. Lesser, Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. “During a time when we’re navigating economic recovery from the pandemic and being hit with a second wave, it is important to make these investments in our infrastructure to put people to work, rebuild our communities, and continue the fight for equal opportunity.”
“Congratulations to the grant recipients!” said Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. “As the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, I want to commend my colleagues for their steadfast support of MassWorks funding and working in partnership with the Administration to provide dollars to these vital projects to grow local jobs and generate revenue for cities, towns and the Commonwealth.
“The City of Pittsfield is pleased to have the support and commitment of the Baker-Polito Administration toward this important and transformational initiative in our community. The Tyler Street Streetscape and Roundabout project reflects a longstanding and concerted effort by many in the Morningside neighborhood,” said Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer. “As one of the first designated TDI districts in the Commonwealth, we are deeply grateful to MassDevelopment for its continuous support through the years in helping to foster and implement our vision for this critical neighborhood corridor in our city. Thank you for believing in us and our future.”
“Nantucket is grateful to be receiving its first MassWorks grant, particularly at this critical time,” said Dawn Hill Holdgate, Chair of the Nantucket Select Board. “Housing for our year-round community remains the #1 priority of the Select Board and this award will facilitate building the roadway infrastructure to support a new, 64-unit rental housing development on Town land where 80% of the residences will be income-restricted.”
“As chair of the Northfield Selectboard, I am honored to represent our community in the acceptance of this MassWorks infrastructure grant,” said Alex Meisner, Chair of the Northfield Selectboard. “Our aging Massachusetts roads will benefit greatly from this funding and I thank all involved parties who made this project possible.”
“Warwick appreciates the Commonwealth’s investment in our community’s joint effort with our neighbor Northfield to meet our needs to improve this connector roadway,” said Warwick Selectboard member Todd Dexter. “Half of all land in Warwick is state owned parks and reserves, land that contributes to our community character. This project addresses our need to adequately fund roads through these lands, something that is nearly impossible for a tiny town. We are grateful for this taxpayer support.”
Each year, the MassWorks program allocates 10 percent of awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety projects. Towns like Avon, Buckland, Harvard, Phillipston, and Plainfield will see extensive roadway improvements as well as upgrades to culverts and underground water and sewer utilities along critical thoroughfares utilized by emergency first responders, school buses, residents, and commuters. These MassWorks-funded projects will improve public safety, prevent the need for lengthy, long-term detours, and preserve housing density.
Since 2015, and including this year’s round, the Baker-Polito Administration has invested nearly $533 million in grant funds to support public infrastructure projects, with 259 awards spread out across 157 cities and towns. These grants have unlocked and leveraged over $10.8 billion in private investment, supported the creation of more than 17,000 new housing units, and led to tens of thousands of new permanent and construction jobs.
The MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program, administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, is a competitive grant program that provides a flexible source of capital funds to municipalities and other eligible public entities for public infrastructure projects that produce housing, create jobs, and generate additional private sector investment.
2020 MassWorks Grant Awards
- Acton- $2,750,000
Affordable Housing Infrastructure Improvements Funds will support the construction of Powder Mill Place, a 230-unit 40B housing development representing $60 million in private investment. The proposed improvements include intersection, sidewalk, streetscape improvements, and upgrades to the Middle Fort Pond Brook Wastewater Treatment Facility.
- Amherst- $1,500,000
Unlocking Amherst’s Pomeroy Village Center To support both planned housing and future development opportunities in Pomeroy Village Center, funds to the Town of Amherst will complete intersection and street improvements, including expanded sidewalk, street lighting, bicycle accommodations, and either the construction of a new roundabout or the resignalization of the existing intersection. The project’s improvements will also increase traffic safety and expand multi-modal accommodations for the area, benefiting two Environmental Justice neighborhoods.
- Avon - $1,000,000
Central Street Regional Safety & Connectivity Central Street is a major connector road and considered a high-crash corridor. Funds will allow the Town of Avon to make major repairs to the road including adding a sidewalk, a raised curb, and bicycle accommodations. Sixty-five percent of the town’s ambulance runs come down Central Street, making smooth traffic flows for public safety concerns a major component of the work.
- Ayer - $3,164,000
West Main Street Public Infrastructure Public infrastructure improvements will support mixed-use, multi-modal transit-oriented development for Ayer’s West Main Street corridor and the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone. These improvements include water lines, ADA compliant sidewalks and bicycle lanes for Commuter Rail connectivity, a storm-water collection and management system, and streetscape upgrades. There will also be a re-alignment of the Devens Verbeck Gate intersection, and the installation of a Devens Regional Bus shuttle waiting station.
- Beverly - $1,750,000
Sohier and Tozer Roads Improvements Funds will support major streetscape improvements including intersection redesign and the addition of new sidewalks and crossings to greatly improve pedestrian safety at the difficult intersection of Tozer and Sohier Roads. Anchor Point, a $27 million development with 77 affordable housing units, a daycare, and community center being constructed on a vacant 5-acre lot, stands to directly benefit from these improvements.
- Boston - $3,000,000
Amory Street Infrastructure The City of Boston will construct a new roadway, along with public space improvements, to unlock the build out of the Amory Street Campus – a transit-oriented housing development consisting of 565 new apartment units across six buildings, with 332 of these units income restricted. All buildings will be located within 1,000 feet of the Jackson Square MBTA Subway Station. Additional improvements will include the creation of a public greenway and the renovation of a pocket park.
- Boston - $3,000,000
Whittier Choice Phase 3 Infrastructure The City of Boston will construct a new roadway to unlock the third and final phase of the Whittier Choice Neighborhood Development – a transformative public-private investment in the reconstruction and expansion of the former Whittier Street Apartments public housing complex, located less than 1,000 feet from Ruggles MBTA Subway Station. Construction of the roadway will create a new neighborhood block for the build out of a 12-story, mixed-use building, consisting of 9,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 172 apartment units, including 135 income-restricted units.
- Brockton - $2,654,000
Garfield Street and Terminal Place Reconstruction To spur and support redevelopment opportunities along Main Street and near the corner of Montello Street and Terminal Place, the City of Brocton will make utility improvements and reconstruct the roadway and sidewalks in the Campello neighborhood. These improvements tie into recent investments and improve pedestrian corridor between residential neighborhoods and the Commuter Rail station.
- Buckland - $1,000,000
Charlemont Road Reconstruction & Culvert Repair The Town of Buckland will reconstruct and repair 3,100 feet of roadway and a failing culvert along Charlemont Road, a primary travel way between the towns of Buckland, Ashfield, and Charlemont and a regional connector between Route 2 and Route 112. Heavy cut-through traffic from highway travelers, including tractor-trailer trucks, has led to severe deterioration of the roadway, and a recent storm event resulted in the partial collapse of a stream-crossing culvert, reducing traffic to just one lane over the structure. Emergency vehicles must reduce speeds when responding to incidents at or around these destinations, and any alternative route requires a detour of at least 30 minutes.
- Burlington - $3,500,000
Burlington Water Connection The Town of Burlington seeks to connect to MWRA water, a multi-phased project, to alleviate existing water shortages that prevent growth. The total cost is $25.7M including $16.9M for construction and $8.8M for the MWRA connection fees. This funding will support Phase 2A, which will allow the Town to unlock more than $175 million in already permitted private developments that will create 300 housing units and 1,100 new jobs. The Towns of Bedford and Burlington will contribute funding, as well as Nordblom Company.
- Chelsea - $5,000,000
Innes Apartments Redevelopment MassWorks funds will be used to support the Innes Apartments Redevelopment, on a site owned by the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA). Improvements include new water, sewer and drainage systems, curbing and pavement, street trees, lighting and signal improvements at the Central Ave/Willow St. intersection. The project includes 96 units to replace the existing public affordable housing units (households earning 80% or less than AMI), 40 units will be available for workforce housing (households earning 120% or less than AMI) and the remaining 194 units will be market-rate.
- Dracut - $650,000
144 Greenmont Avenue Senior Housing The Town of Dracut will undertake infrastructure improvements including water lines, sewer lines and pump stations, a gas line, electric, cable and telephone lines, stormwater management and drainage systems, and access roadways and pedestrian paths. The work will support a 60-unit affordable rental development for seniors and persons with disabilities.
- Erving - $500,000
Mill Access Road Design and Construction The Town of Erving will improve the wastewater infrastructure at the 49.3-acre site of the former International Paper Mill property to prepare it for development. The Town’s vision for this site is 3 mixed-use parcels – housing, commercial, light industrial space and one parcel retained by the Town for conservation and recreation. This grant will be used to install a new pump station.
- Hanover - $1,265,000
Hanover Crossing Mixed Use Redevelopment The Town of Hanover will complete intersection and street improvements in support of Hanover Crossing, a $225-million redevelopment of the former Hanover Mall for mixed-use housing and open-air retail. Principal improvements will include reconfiguration and resignalization of the intersection at Route 53 and Hanover Mall Drive. At full buildout, Hanover Crossing will include 297 market-rate apartments, 610,000 square feet of retail space, six restaurants, and 30,000 square feet of open space. Hanover Crossing is expected to generate up to 700 permanent jobs and an average of $2 million per year in local tax revenue over the next 15 years.
- Harvard - $1,000,000
Slough Road Safety Improvements The Town of Harvard will complete the full-depth reclamation and drainage repairs needed on Slough Road, to address extremely poor conditions and public safety concerns on a major throughway in the town. The town will be leveraging Chapter 90 funds to support this project as well.
- Haverhill - $1,950,000
Haverhill TOD Mixed Use Redevelopment Major street reconstruction and realignment of several streets close to the Bradford MBTA Commuter Rail Station will unlock a $72 million public-private partnership for a mixed-use development providing 290 market rate units and 10,000 square feet of retail space on a previous brownfields site located on Railroad Avenue.
- Lawrence - $1,310,000
Island Parkside Public Infrastructure Improvements New roadway construction and landscaping will connect Lawrence CommunityWorks’ new $27 million, 80 unit affordable multifamily Parkside Housing Development with Ferrous Park, an open space recreational area. The project and development will replace a former industrial area and provide much needed affordable housing and community access to greenspace, create 78 new jobs, and will replace outdated stormwater infrastructure.
- Leominster - $2,487,000
Whitney Field Infrastructure Improvements The City of Leominster will upgrade decades old water and sewer pipes in one of the City's largest commercial districts which includes the 774,000 square foot Mall at Whitney Field. Work also includes the addition of new sidewalks, fencing, paving, ADA ramps and retaining wall - all of which will directly impact private development in the area, including the expansion of the Mall.
- Lynn - $2,200,000
Lynnway at Blossom Street Traffic & Safety Plan The City of Lynn will complete intersection and street improvements at the junction of Blossom Street and Lynnway to support planned housing and future transit-oriented development opportunities. The proposed Blossom Street Residences will create 72 units of market-rate condominiums, with the potential for up to 100 additional units on an adjacent site.
- Methuen - $990,000
Charles Street Retaining Wall Replacement Funds will support the rebuilding of a crumbling City-owned retaining wall and replacement of the adjacent sidewalk in downtown Methuen, preserving a 54-space public parking lot that is essential in furthering private development. The project aims to unlock two mixed-use projects, and maintain pedestrian safety and access.
- Nantucket - $1,500,000
Waitt Drive Improvements Funds will support the construction of Waitt Drive into a proposed NE/SW roadway connector serving approximately 10 new parcels and a 64-unit affordable housing complex.
- Northfield & Warwick - $2,000,000
Northfield/Warwick Roads Reconstruction The Towns of Northfield and Warwick will reconstruct nearly two miles of roadway forming the primary east-west corridor between the two communities. The project limits include a steep mountain pass, where poor slope and pavement conditions make travel hazardous during heavy rain and snow events and which recently led to a fatal motorcycle crash in 2019. Any alternative route requires a detour of more than 10 miles. This roadway is used year-round by Northfield ambulances servicing Warwick and provides the fastest travel route to Franklin County’s only medical center in Greenfield.
- Orange - $1,000,000
South Main Street Infrastructure Funding will support the replacement and upgrade of water and sewer lines, dating back to the mid-1890s, to eliminate sewer backups, preserve the density of housing allowed in the area, and improve public safety on the Town’s primary commercial corridor.
- Phillipston - $1,000,000
Rte. 101 Queen Lake Road Rehabilitation Funding will address safety issues on a failing segment of Queen Lake Road/Rte. 101, a primary emergency responder mutual aid route between Petersham, Phillipston and Templeton, a principal route for elementary school students, and the main commercial traffic and commuter route heading east to Leominster/Fitchburg and metro Boston. The project continues work from a previous MassWorks grant shared with the Town of Petersham.
- Pittsfield - $3,000,000
Tyler Street Streetscape Improvements Funds will support streetscape improvements to Tyler Street, a heavily trafficked, transit-oriented two-lane roadway in downtown Pittsfield. The upgrades to sidewalks, crosswalks, and lighting will help stimulate extensive economic and resident investment along the corridor, including six new and reuse developments.
- Plainfield - $998,000
Rte 116 Improvement Funds will fund repaving and reclamation work on extensive roadway damage to a major east-west thoroughfare. Wide detours out of town would be required if rehabilitation efforts are not undertaken.
- Sheffield - $1,000,000
Sheffield Bridge replacements Funds will support the construction of two bridge replacements on Lime Kiln Road and Kelsey Road. A previous MassWorks grant, along with other state funding, advanced the design and permitting efforts for both bridges.
- Hadley - $2,711,000
Newton St Smart Growth District Improvements Funding will support roadway improvements that will improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and access, encourage new business activity, and promote walking and public transportation option to residents. The redevelopment of the former Woodlawn Plaza will also be unlocked, creating 60 affordable housing units and 14 permanent jobs.
- Stoughton - $2,500,000
South Stoughton Sewer Expansion The Town of Stoughton will expand its municipal sewer system, including a new pump station near Campanelli Business Park, to activate nearly $36 million in proposed building expansions for commercial and industrial uses. In addition to eliminating existing dependencies on septic systems, and is expected to catalyze over 200,000 square feet of proposed building projects and create an estimated 240 new permanent jobs across five commercial and industrial properties.
- Ware - $178,000
Main Street Streetscape Lighting This simple street lighting project is a component of a much larger $2,478,000 street improvement project on Main Street in Downtown Ware. Thirty new LED pedestrian scale streetlights placed on both sides of Main Street will improve pedestrian safety and enhance connectivity between downtown businesses.
- Wayland - $2,203,000
Alta at River's Edge, 490 Boston Post Road Funding will support the connection of a new 218-unit housing development on a contaminated site to the Town’s underutilized wastewater management facility, boosting the facility’s use to optimal levels, providing sufficient and environmentally-friendly wastewater treatment to the development, and help sustain much needed housing.
- Wellfleet - $2,500,000
Wellfleet Water System Upgrade and Expansion The Town of Wellfleet will expand its municipal water distribution system to unlock future development of a nine-acre public parcel for affordable housing production. Water system improvements will provide the capacity needed to service the site and allow for the build out of 42 income-restricted units, and benefit at least 80 additional residential and commercial properties.
- West Brookfield - $985,000
Town Center Improvements Funds will support Complete Streets improvements on Route 9 to enhance bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicle safety within the center of West Brookfield. The projects will also connect several recently completed projects around the Town Center and builds on other recent improvements.
- Westborough - $1,282,000
Flanders Rd/West Park Dr Ext. Intersection Roadway improvements to Flanders Road and West Park Drive including new sidewalks, crosswalks, ramps, and signals will significantly help reduce traffic congestion at the Westborough Office Park. These upgrades will allow the development of new office, retail and commercial space to proceed, creating more than 1,000 new jobs.
- Wilmington - $2,891,000
Princeton Wilmington Smart Growth Housing Funding will support a combined sewer extension, culvert replacement, and road improvement project that will improve traffic safety on Middlesex Avenue and unlock a transit-oriented housing development adjacent to a Commuter Rail station. This development will bring a total of 108 new housing units, including 22 affordable units.
- Worcester - $1,500,000
Green Island Boulevard Funding will support the City of Worcester’s construction of Green Island Boulevard, a new urban street in Worcester’s Canal District. The construction includes two travel lanes, a turning lane, bicycle accommodations, on-street parking, and sidewalks with streetscape features.