The Massachusetts Port Authority Board voted to transfer to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) ownership of the Tobin Memorial Bridge which spans the Mystic River and is a vital commuter artery to the North Shore. The vote paves the way for the transfer of the 2 1/4-mile-long span to occur midnight, Jan. 1, 2010, and marks another success of the state’s historic transportation reform legislation, signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick.
“This vote stands out as yet another milestone for transportation reform,” said Governor Patrick. “We are making good on our promise to radically simplify the state’s transportation bureaucracy and deliver quality, cost-effective services to the traveling public.”
“This vote puts in motion the successful transfer of a valuable transportation asset,” said Thomas J. Kinton Jr., Massport’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “The Tobin helped finance Massport and now it will help finance transportation reform.”
“The transfer of the Tobin Bridge to MassDOT means that for the first time all of our state’s major roads, bridges and tunnels will be managed by one unified transportation organization,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary & CEO Jeffrey Mullan. “The landmark reforms our transportation system is undergoing are on track and already making a real difference for the people of Massachusetts.”
Massport personnel, led by Bridge Director Mary Jane O’Meara, have worked closely with MassDOT Highway Division personnel over the last six months to integrate the Tobin Bridge into the state highway system, examining everything from information technology to historical records.
On November 1, 2009, four camera feeds from the Tobin Bridge were added to the MassDOT Traffic Camera website at www.mass.gov/511/cameras where commuters and visitors can view real-time traffic feeds from Highway Division cameras on key routes throughout Massachusetts.
Massport has operated the 60-year-old bridge for the last 50 years and during that time developed a carefully phased maintenance program – including painting and redecking – to ensure the long-term viability of the bridge.
Even though the transfer is six weeks away, camera feeds from the Tobin Bridge have already been integrated into the MassDOT Traffic Operations Center where employees monitor and respond to traffic congestion and accidents on the state’s roadways, tunnels and bridges.
Massport will not receive compensation for the bridge and all bridge liabilities will transfer to MassDOT.
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) operates Boston Logan International Airport, the Port of Boston, Tobin Memorial Bridge, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. For more information please visit massport.com.