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Worcester Receives $2M Federal Funding for Mill St. Improvements

For Immediate Release: 3/18/2024 12:58 pm

WORCESTER, Mass. – The City of Worcester was awarded $2M from the federal government for the planning and design of improvements to Mill St. that will enhance accommodations and safety for all corridor users.

The funding comes as part of more than $21M that was secured for Massachusetts’ Second District through the FY2024 appropriations process.

“I want to thank Congressman Jim McGovern and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey for their steadfast commitment to Worcester,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista. “Our federal delegation continuously works to ensure Worcester receives its fair share of federal funding to empower our municipality to push forward with necessary improvements and deliver the quality of life residents deserve.”

The funding will allow the municipality to move forward with planning and design for transformative enhancements to the street following interim Complete Streets improvements. Complete Streets is an approach to planning, designing and operating streets to allow safe access for all people who need to use them, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and motorists of all ages and abilities.

“We committed ourselves to being an Age-Friendly Community with AARP,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “Making our city more walkable and safer for all our residents is a top priority, and we greatly appreciate the support from our partners in the federal delegation, Senators Warren, and Markey, as well as Congressman McGovern.”

The interim improvements to Mill Street so far have included reducing the travel lanes to one in each direction and establishing “right-sized” 11-foot travel lane widths to help reduce motor vehicle speeding; formalize existing on-street parking to improve access to Coes Pond, Logan Field, area businesses and residents; pedestrian crossing improvements at three key locations and adding a street-level buffered bike lane in each direction.

The City is initiating a design effort to develop plans for transformative enhancements to Mill Street, including improved sidewalks, crosswalks located at regular intervals, enhanced streetscapes and landscapes, streetlighting, on-street parking areas and installation of permanent separated bicycle facilities. Intersection improvements at Park Ave., June St., and Airport Rd. are also part of the scope of work.

An initial concept plan for the corridor has previously been developed and will serve as a starting point for redesign of the corridor. The project design will be guided by a robust and multi-faceted public participation process with community engagement before plans are implemented. This process will also determine how the project improvements will be implemented, including funding options and timeframe. The City envisions that the Mill Street Complete Streets project will be a truly transformative project for the neighborhood and community.

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