City acquires funding for Main Street-Broad Street redevelopment
By Katelyn Gendron
Reminder Assistant Editor
WESTFIELD -- The decision of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission's (PVPC) Metro-politan Planning Organization proved last week that approximately eight years of lobbying by city and state officials was not in vain.
The organization approved its fiscal year 2010 budget, which includes $15 million for the Main Street-Broad Street Project. Coupled with the completion of the ongoing multimillion-dollar Great River Bridge Project -- one of the two new bridges opened to traffic earlier this month -- and this section of the city will receive a much-needed face lift.
"This is fantastic news for the city of Westfield that will enhance our downtown revitalization efforts while helping to beautify our wonderful city," Mayor Michael Boulanger said. "A great amount of credit is deserved by everyone involved with the project for expeditiously coming together to ensure that this project was shovel-ready in order to receive stimulus funding ... It will be a great asset to the city of Westfield when it is completed."
During an interview with Reminder Publications, City Engineer Mark Cressotti explained that the project includes total roadway reconstruction, including sidewalks; the widening of Main Street; replacement of seven traffic signals; replacement of drainage and water systems; some adjustments to parking areas; street-scape features such as trees; and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
He noted that the project was originally estimated at $19 million; however, park enhancements to the city's Green and other areas were since omitted.
Funding for the project will come from federal and state funds, highway funds and stimulus funding.
"I am pleased the PVPC has placed high priority on the Main Street-Broad Street project," State Sen. Michael Knapik said. "The board's support for our project never wavered and I am certainly grateful for their advocacy for our region.
"My office has worked with two mayors, several city councilors, the city engineer, MassHighway, the Executive Office of Transportation, and many others in working to move this project forward," he continued. "The Commonwealth has done serious diligence to ensure that this project is both efficient as it relates to expenditure and effective as it relates to traffic mitigation."
Cressotti said construction bids will be advertised after Oct. 1 and the groundbreaking will take place next summer.