MassDOT is among a growing number of state agencies tackling sustainability efforts in the transportaiton section and its approach offers valuable lessons for others. number of state agencies tackling this issue and its approach offers valuable lessons for others. This paper traces the evolution of MassDOT’s sustainability efforts, beginning with its revised Project Development and Design Guide, published in 2006, and ultimately encapsulated in its ongoing GreenDOT program, launched in 2010. These efforts represent the combined actions of state legislators, agency leaders, and personnel at all levels of MassDOT.
Last month MassDOT announced the release of a comprehensive set of maps detailing privately operated bus, rail, and ferry routes throughout New England and connecting services to New York State. Recognizing that intercity travelers in New England often pass through multiple states in a single day, and that there was no single source for regional bus, train, and ferry information, MassDOT began its effort to develop one.
MassDOT’s ambitious GreenDOT program has released the first in a series of “data- and performance-driven progress reports.” The report, released in December, documents the key policy shifts, performance measures, and changes in the project selection and prioritization processes that are helping MassDOT achieve its sustainability goals.
In 2010, the Massachusetts DOT announced its GreenDOT initiative, which focuses on three main goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting healthy transportation options, and encouraging smart growth development throughout the state. In recent testimony to the state’s House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, and in a subsequent SSTI webinar, Ned Codd, MassDOT’s Assistant Secretary for GreenDOT, stressed the agency’s commitment to reducing statewide emissions.
The move away from “stroads”—urban streets designed to rural road standards—received new support this month, as Massachusetts and California DOTs endorsed new design guidance that treats urban streets as livable places as well as multimodal transportation facilities.
On January 14, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts announced $52 million in funding for a statewide plan to address the present and future impacts of climate change. Citing weather events such as Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, the governor pointed out that climate change is creating more disruptive weather and challenging public health, safety, and economic vitality.
On November 8, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority used an Accelerated Bridge Construction technique to replace a 102-year-old bridge that carries the Red Line trains over Clayton Street in Dorchester. Using a Self-Propelled Modular Transporter, a new bridge was moved into place within 24 hours of the old bridge being demolished. MassDOT is at the forefront of ABC technology that prefabricates major bridge components in one location and transports them to the construction site where they will be quickly installed using heavy lifting equipment such as cranes, gantry systems, or SPMTs. The replacement of the Clayton Street Bridge was the first time this technology has been used to replace a bridge in the MBTA system, and one of the few on a transit project.