BOSTON /Massachusetts Newswire/ — As part of his Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state’s economic future, Governor Patrick today announced the Salem commuter parking facility will move forward thanks to a full funding commitment from the state. The 750-space parking facility, to be located at the Salem Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail station, will be funded in part by $3.6 million from the Federal Transit Administration and $3 million from the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM). The DCAM investment will allow 150 parking spaces to serve the new Essex County Courthouse complex. The balance of the spaces will be available to daily commuters who park and ride the commuter rail to Boston.

Governor Deval PatrickIn addition to the committed federal and DCAM funds, the Governor said today the state will fund its appropriate share of the total $45 million project costs and will work with the MBTA and the City to finalize each party’s contribution to the project. The facility is scheduled to be completed by 2011.

“By moving this project from the drawing board to reality, we can address a longstanding need for additional commuter parking and give Salem an economic boost,” said Governor Patrick.

“This is great news for the City of Salem and North Shore commuters,” said Congressman John Tierney. “While I am, of course, happy that federal funds helped make this project viable, in addition to the Governor’s commitment, it was and is the advocacy and persistence of Mayor Driscoll, the local legislative delegation and the leaders of the Salem business community who brought the importance of the project to the region’s economy into sharp focus.”

“I am thrilled that this day has come for Salem. A commuter rail station will enhance the quality of life for so many North Shore residents, as well as promote economic growth and public transportation. I am proud to have been a part of the team effort to make this project a reality,” said Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry.

“Governor Patrick’s release of funding for the Salem garage is terrific news. This is truly a collaborative effort and partnership amongst local, state and federal government,” said Representative John Keenan. “Building this facility, coupled with the new court house, assures that Salem will remain the legal and tourism hub of the North Shore for generations to come.”

“This project will be transformational to the City, our economy and our commuters,” said Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. “The construction of a new commuter station in Salem has been on the drawing board for over two decades. To finally see it move forward is amazing and a huge credit to Governor Deval Patrick, Congressman John Tierney, State Senator Fred Berry and State Representative John Keenan who all played important roles in keeping this project on track.”

“These strategic investments of state and federal resources in parking for commuter rail in Salem and other communities such as Beverly are perfect examples of transit-related projects that promote more livable communities and enhance economic development,” said Executive Office of Transportation Secretary James Aloisi.

The Salem commuter rail station is one of the most heavily used on the MBTA’s Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Line. It serves not only hundreds of daily commuters but also is a point of arrival for tourists and visitors. The existing surface parking lot with fewer than 350 spaces routinely is filled before 8:00 a.m. on weekdays.

The Patrick-Murray Administration’s Executive Office of Transportation and MBTA have committed to completing projects that add a total of at least 1,000 commuter parking spaces at MBTA stations on the North Shore by December 2011.

In June, Governor Patrick announced final plans for a 500-space MBTA commuter parking garage plus housing and retail, one block from the Beverly Depot. Funding for that $20 million project comes from the state and MBTA, along with funds from the City of Beverly. The Beverly garage should be completed by the end of 2011.

Infrastructure investment is a key part of Governor Patrick’s Massachusetts Recovery Plan. The plan combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

•Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
•Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
•Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.
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