Bridge to ferry may get state funding


April 24, 2014
By Thor Jourgensen/The Daily Item

 A $1 million footbridge spanning the Lynnway to connect the city’s center to a planned Blossom Street ferry terminal is included in a new state transportation project spending list.

The list also includes $2 million to buy a ferry to travel from Lynn to Boston Harbor as part of a city plan to bring more people to the waterfront stretching from the General Edwards Bridge to Heritage State Park.

Additional state tax dollars for the five-year-old ferry project are included in a $10 million spending priority list for Lynn and surrounding communities that, in turn, is part of a $13 billion dollar state transportation improvement plan.

areal view of traffic on Lynnway

Lynnway footbridge plan

Traffic rolls down the Lynnway during rush hour in this Item file photo.

The plan represents long-term transportation improvement goals that state Sen. Thomas M. McGee said need to become realities if Massachusetts is going to fix up its roads, bridges, rail networks and harbors.

“We’ve identified numerous important transportation improvements,” McGee said.

A project’s appearance on the list — also referred to as the transportation bond bill by McGee and other legislators — does not commit money to be spent on each project, state Transportation Department spokeswoman Sara Lavoie cautioned in a statement.

Planning for some of the area bond projects is already underway, including widening Route 1 in Saugus and Revere and reconstructing Broadway, including road resurfacing, sidewalk and traffic signal work, from Wyoma Square to Boston Street.

Lavoie said the $4 million Broadway project has received state permission to proceed because money for it is included in the bond bill.

Some of the project money included in the bond underscores long-term efforts led by McGee to bring a ferry to Lynn and improve the commuter rail parking garage on Market Street. The bond includes $1.75 million to make drainage repairs, elevator improvements and other work in the garage and the commuter station.

McGee and other legislators have pointed out needed maintenance and security problems in the garage to state transportation officials, including elevators that break down or don’t work.

The city Economic Development and Industrial Corporation has spent $6 million since 2008 converting the end of Blossom Street extension off the Lynnway from a rundown public boat ramp and bait shop to a parking lot outfitted with a steel bulkhead, new drainage and a pier.

Work scheduled to be finished this spring will set the stage for EDIC to buy a ferry and arrange for its operation.

“A lot of projects included in the bond fit into investments we’ve already made,” McGee said.


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