Special to The Journal
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced the award of a Community Mitigation grant in the amount of $200,000 to the City of Lynn. The MGC approved this grant during a public meeting in its Boston office on July 18, 2019.
“The grant will be used to subsidize the approximately $3 million in engineering cost the City is responsible to fund for the Western Avenue Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) project,” said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “I would like to thank the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for this grant that will enable the City to move forward on this important project that will improve our transportation infrastructure and address long overdue traffic and safety deficiencies in this area.”
The Western Ave project is one of three proposed projects eligible for Federal Aid highway funding that the City of Lynn has been working with WorldTech Engineering on advancing through the TIP process. The total cost of the Western Avenue project will be $36.2 million. The project extends along Western Avenue from Centre Street to Eastern Avenue, along three segments of roadway stretching around Stop & Shop including, Franklin Street, Boston Street and Washington Street. Four intersections within the Western Avenue project limits (at Eastern Avenue, at Chestnut Street, at Washington Street, and at Franklin Street) are among Massachusetts’s Top 200 High Crash intersections. Improvements will be made to the roadways and intersections which will provide safety and operational enhancements to the corridor that improves all transportation modes – vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles and transit. The project will completely reconstruct approximately 2.0 miles of Western Avenue that includes rehabilitation of the pavement, with new concrete sidewalks, ADA-compliant crosswalks and wheelchair ramps, bicycle accommodations and upgraded transit accommodations where feasible. All traffic signals within the project limits will be upgraded to improve traffic operation and safety and reduce congestion.
The gaming law created the Community Mitigation Fund to help entities offset costs related to the construction and operations of gaming establishments. The statute states that the Commission will issue funds to assist host and surrounding communities … “including, but not limited to, communities and water and sewer districts in the vicinity of a gaming establishment, local and regional education, transportation, infrastructure, housing, environmental issues and public safety, including the office of the county district attorney, police, fire, and emergency services.” The Commission may also distribute funds to a governmental entity or district other than a single municipality in order to implement a mitigation measure that affects more than one community.