On December 22nd, 2021, Representative Soter announced that MassDOT released their most recent round of Complete Streets Funding. The Town of Bellingham was awarded $399,593.35 through this disbursement.
The MassDOT Complete Streets Funding Program provides technical assistance and construction funding to eligible municipalities. As described by MassDOT, a Complete Street is one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes - walking, biking, transit, and vehicles – for people of all ages and abilities.
With this funding, the Town of Bellingham will make improvements to the sidewalks and curb ramps on Harpin Street near South Elementary School. These improvements will promote accessibility and ensure that students, families, and neighbors are safe. In addition, enhancements will be made by the High School and Senior Center. Lighting improvements will be made on Appreciation Way, a common cut-through from the high school’s driveway to the main building. Finally, the overall plan calls for a new sidewalk on the east side of Access Road from Blackstone Street to the Senior Center.
“This funding will work to transform many parts of the town,” State Representative Michael Soter commented. “The focus of this grant program is to increase the usability of our town’s sidewalks as well as improve the overall safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike. This funding will do just that for some of our busiest and most sensitive parts of town”
Denis Fraine, Bellingham Town Administrator commented, “The Complete Streets grant award recently announced for Bellingham will provide sidewalk and safety improvements along Harpin Street which is home to DiPietro Elementary School, Keough Academy, and 5 Little league fields. The $400,000 project will create a much safer environment for the hundreds of school-aged children and families who visit these facilities every day. Additionally, sidewalk and lighting improvements will be constructed on Blackstone St making access to the Senior Center and High School ball fields safer. Many thanks to Representative Michael Soter who spent a great deal of time helping to secure these funds for our community.”
Representative Soter stated that he will continue to work with the Town of Bellingham and the rest of the towns in his district to search for funding opportunities like this one.