SPRINGFIELD — The Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced $6.5 million in grants statewide for road and sidewalk safety projects, including $167,000 that will allow Springfield to make improvements along Main Street in Indian Orchard.
The MassDOT funds awarded under the Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program will help design and complete improvements to curbs, streets, plazas and parking areas to help improve communities and enhance health and safety, state officials said.
Western Massachusetts communities receiving the grants also include Holyoke, East Longmeadow, Northampton, Southampton, Westhampton, Greenfield, Orange and Williamstown.
In Springfield, the $167,000 grant will focus on Main Street in Indian Orchard, between Oak and Pinevale Streets, to include new sidewalks, bump-out areas and enhanced parking identification, city officials said in a news release.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said he was grateful to Gov. Charlie Baker and other state officials and Public Works director Christopher Cignoli “for advocating for these traffic/pedestrian safety and quality of life initiatives for our Indian Orchard neighborhood and throughout our City.”
Other grants awarded by MassDOT:
- Greenfield received $200,000 to replace an existing parking lot with lawn and plantings in order to complete a new public park.
- Southampton received $123,644 to construct 900 feet of new sidewalk to improve safety and walkability among key locations, including a school, Town Hall, Senior Center, library, historic church and town park.
- Orange received $100,871 to expand upon the work of a previous Shared Streets and Spaces grant by extending improvements on East Main Street to include new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant crosswalks, buffered bicycle lanes, and a shelter for Montachusett Regional Transit Authority riders complete with a bench and schedule holder. Among other users, the shelter transit stop will serve those visiting the Council on Aging and the Orange Farmers Market.
- Holyoke received $73,100 to install pedestrian safety beacons to better serve recreational and open spaces, the Senior Center and multiple schools.
- Northampton received $50,000 to implement safety improvements to downtown streets to address lessons learned from an earlier Shared Streets and Spaces grant project and a recent safety audit, including the addition of way finding and lighting equipment to improve pedestrian safety and visibility.
- East Longmeadow received $38,500 to increase pedestrian safety, accessibility and comfort by providing new and reconstructed curb ramps, new marked crosswalks, enhanced signage, bus stops and curb extensions on North Main Street.
- Westhampton received $36,000 to install signs and widen and repurpose sidewalks for school and community programming.
- Williamstown received $25,000 to convert an underutilized downtown street into a pedestrian plaza to be used for outdoor dining and community events.
Springfield has received three grants under the Shared Streets and Spaces program in the last 10 months totaling $482,000. The previous two grants included $100,000 for enhanced pedestrian crossings along St. James Avenue in the McKnight neighborhood and $215,000 for sidewalk expansion for outdoor seating in front of Theodores’ on Worthington Street, city officials said.
Cignoli said the state program provides “needed improvements to the residential and business community throughout the city.”
State Rep. Orlando Ramos, D-Springfield, who also serves as Ward 8 city councilor representing Indian Orchard, praised the funding from MassDOT.
“This is great news for the Indian Orchard community,” Ramos said. “There is so much potential for growth and improvement in this area of the city. I’m hopeful that is only the beginning of what will become a revitalization of Main Street Indian Orchard.”
In addition, the city’s Department of Public Works was awarded a total of $197,500 through MassDOT’s Complete Streets Funding Program for the following two projects:
- $128,100 for the installation of bicycle lanes, including signs as well as pavement arrows and symbols, in both directions on Tapley Street from Bay Street to St. James Avenue.
- $64,400 for installation of arrows and bike signage along both sides of Trafton Road between its two intersections with Dickinson Street in the Forest Park neighborhood.