O'Connell Announces $400K Complete Streets Grant Awarded to Taunton

Press Conference Taunton July 2022

For Immediate Release: 7/29/2022

Contact Person: Ligia Madeira, 508-821-1000  

O’CONNELL ANNOUNCES $400K COMPLETE STREETS GRANT AWARDED TO TAUNTON

Taunton, MA…Today Mayor Shaunna O’Connell announced the City of Taunton has been awarded a $400,000 Complete Streets grant by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) for improvements on Weir Street. On July 28, 2022, O’Connell was joined by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, MassDOT Secretary Jamey Tesler and MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver to announce that Taunton was one of sixteen municipalities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts awarded a Complete Streets grant.

“We are committed to improving our roads and sidewalks, especially on key travel corridors such as Weir Street. The continuous support our City has received from the Baker-Polito Administration has been invaluable in furthering our objectives and implementing our vision for the City of Taunton,” said O’Connell. “This major revamp of Weir Street represents an important investment by both the City and MassDOT in upgrading and beautifying the connection between our Downtown and the Weir Village.”

With the goal of advancing connectivity and mobility throughout the Commonwealth, a “Complete Street” is one that provides safe, convenient, and comfortable travel for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their method of transportation. The first Complete Streets project in Taunton, approved in 2017 with an award of $399,930, funded sidewalk and bicycle accommodations on Kilmer Avenue. Taunton has now been awarded a second grant of $400,000 for improvements on Weir Street. Weir Street will be reconstructed from Harrison Street to First Street including new sidewalks, paving, bicycle lanes, crossings, and street trees. The total project cost is estimated at $1.4 million.

Weir Street has long been a priority of the City of Taunton’s Pathways Committee. The Pathways Committee, led by City Council President Phillip Duarte, was established in 2017 with the goal of increasing bike and pedestrian infrastructure throughout the Taunton community.

Duarte is pleased with the progress being made in Taunton, “Weir Street is one of the most important streets on the City’s Complete Streets Prioritization Plan because it provides a critical connection between the Downtown and Weir Village sections of the City. The improved roadway will also connect to the planned trailhead for the proposed Taunton River Trail, the Pathways Committee’s main project. The Taunton River Trail will consist of about 2 miles of a rail-to-trail multi-use path along the Taunton River that will connect our community to Dighton, Somerset, and Fall River. This grant is an important step in moving this project forward.”

State and local officials gathered at the Taunton Fire Prevention Station on the corner of Oak Street and Kilmer Avenue yesterday to announce the recipients of the Complete Streets awards and celebrate the progress being made in making streets safer and more convenient for people of all abilities. O’Connell enthuses, “It is always particularly rewarding when we come together to work for the greater good of our community. These endeavors require dedicated teamwork and in addition to our partnership with the state, we rely on the efforts of our Office of Economic and Community Development, Department of Public Works, the Pathways Committee and others who are committed to making our City a wonderful place to work and to live.”

Construction is expected to begin in Taunton in 2023. For more information about the Complete Streets Funding Program, visit www.masscompletestreets.com. ###