The move to all-electronic open road toll collection in Massachusetts begins Friday.

An example of electronic tolling

Pittsfield’s state representative is calling on the state transportation department to lower proposed rate changes associated with an upcoming switch to all-electronic tolling on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

MassDOT Highway Administrator Tom Tinlin speaking in Lenox Sept. 15.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Thursday held its final public hearing before a vote on adjusted turnpike rates associated with a switch to all electronic tolling.

      In advance of the changeover in late October to all-electronic tolling on the Massachusetts Turnpike, officials are distributing free transponders that motorists will need to avoid paying higher rates to travel on the highway.


Massachusetts is the only state in the nation with a statewide bike week.  Hundreds of events are taking place this week from the Berkshires to Cape Cod where bicycling is highlighted as an alternative form of transportation. 


A new phase of a major highway construction project in western Massachusetts is scheduled to begin this week, one that could result in more delays for motorists and more noise for people who live and work near the project. 

MassDOT announced the contractor on the project to reconstruct the elevated portion of Interstate 91 in downtown Springfield will begin demolishing the reinforced concrete bridge deck of the highway. The work, scheduled to begin Wednesday, will take place on the inner northbound lane of the I-91 viaduct.


After months of planning and preparation, work is set to begin in earnest on a major highway project in western Massachusetts. The rehabilitation of the elevated portion of Interstate 91, known as the I-91 viaduct, through downtown Springfield will mean longer commutes and perhaps parking problems for the next two years.


$120 million in federal and state money was spent over the last three years to build a high speed rail line, with new track, ties, switches, and stations, running parallel to the Connecticut River in Massachusetts.  Now local officials are working to get more trains running on that line called the Knowledge Corridor.

The top transportation official in Massachusetts said finishing the reconstruction of I-91 in Springfield ahead of schedule is a top priority.  MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollock discussed the massive highway project during a western Massachusetts tour Wednesday where she also attended the rededication of the recently reconstructed Norwottuck Rail Trail.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Pollack as they walked along part of the rail trail in Northampton.


This is Bay State Bike Week.  It is an annual collaborative effort involving bicycling enthusiasts, transportation officials, civic organizations, and businesses to encourage people to commute by bike or take short trips in their communities.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Lauren LeClaire, communications director for the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, or MassBike, a nonprofit that promotes bicycling.


Six members of the Massachusetts transportation board have agreed to resign at the request of Governor Charlie Baker.

A spokesman for the governor says the chairman of the seven-member MassDOT board, John Jenkins, has submitted his resignation. Baker's request came last week after a special advisory panel created by the governor recommended creating a new financial control board to oversee the MBTA.


The group working to bring the 2024 Summer Olympic games to Boston unveiled details of the proposal today.

       Most of the venues for the proposed Boston Olympics would be grouped into two clusters, one on the South Boston waterfront and the other along the Charles River on the campuses of Harvard, MIT, and Boston University.  Twenty-eight of the 33 venues would be within a radius of about 6 miles. Twenty-six of the venues are no more than a ten-minute walk from a public transit stop.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has filled one of the key remaining positions in his cabinet with the appointment of Stephanie Pollack as Secretary of Transportation.  Pollack spent the last nine years as associate director of research at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill spoke with Kristina Egan, director of the advocacy group Transportation for Massachusetts about the Pollack appointment and her organization’s new report on the state’s transportation priorities.

Top transportation and public safety officials in Massachusetts say the state is ready for the first big snow storm of the season, which is timed to hit on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Frank DePaola is urging people with travel plans for Thanksgiving to bring patience along. He advised people to leave for their holiday destinations early in the morning, or after 8 p.m. to avoid rush hour commuters.  He said highway crews are ready for the predicted Wednesday snowstorm.

Paul Tuthill / WAMC

Massachusetts' Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, who oversees the state's highways and public transit as well as other agencies, is stepping down after three years on the job.

An elevated portion of highway in Springfield, Ma.

Congress last week, before going on a five-week recess, approved a short-term bill to pay for highway and transit projects.  The temporary funding means the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will seek bids later this month for the rehabilitation of the Interstate 91 viaduct, or elevated highway, which runs through downtown Springfield.  The project is expected to cost $260 million and take three construction seasons to complete.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill got an update on the project today from MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePoala


An attorney and veteran of several municipal boards and commissions has been tapped to head the parking authority in Springfield, Massachusetts. The appointment comes as the city is on the verge of a parking space crunch. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announced Friday the selection of Mary McNally as the new executive director of the Springfield Parking Authority.  He called her “eminently qualified” and said the appointment is part of a new direction at the authority.


BOSTON (AP) — An ambitious five-year plan to upgrade the Massachusetts’ infrastructure includes billions of dollars for new MBTA trains, road and bridge repairs, and all-electronic tolling.

The $12.4 billion capital investment plan released by Gov. Deval Patrick's administration Friday is a blueprint only and there's no guarantee that all of the projects will go forward.


A new state program has been successful in reducing the backlog of urgently needed repairs to Massachusetts bridges.  Innovative construction methods have reduced the amount of time it once took to make repairs.

   The Manhan River Bridge in Easthampton is one of the current projects in the  state’s 5-year- old $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program.   MassDOT  Highway Administrator Frank DePaola said the program prioritizes repairing structurally deficient bridges. 

Massachusetts’ Secretary of Transportation visited the Berkshires on Thursday to pitch the governor’s transportation budget, and to discuss the newly filed transportation bond bill with local legislators and heads of town governments.

Motorists would no longer have to stop or even slow down to pay their tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike under a plan being considered by Gov. Deval Patrick's administration.

Patrick said Monday the state is hoping to phase out tollbooths and replace them with an electronic system that would automatically toll drivers as they exit the highway.

The governor stressed that planning is still in its early stages and details are still being worked out.

As the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is developing its plan to replace a bridge over a vital freight rail corridor in Pittsfield, members of the public are being asked for their opinions.  WAMC’s Berkshire bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Local leaders in Berkshire County submitted their comments to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation yesterday in North Adams. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports that officials made it clear to the board that funding to the county’s public transportation is inadequate.

At the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s monthly board meeting, held in North Adams yesterday afternoon, local officials brought their complaints with them to the 7-member board.

Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick has released all five members of the state transportation board. The board will be restructured in September, but the move is sparking some controversy. WAMC’s Lucas Willard filed a report…


The top transportation official in Massachusetts is highlighting a new program designed to tackle small traffic bottlenecks.  It could help communities pay for projects that have languished on “wish lists”. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.