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Community Mitigation Fund Grant Spotlight: MGC Awards $1.5 Million in Grants to the City of Chelsea

As part of approximately $6.7 million in grants to several municipalities and other eligible entities across Massachusetts through the 2020 Community Mitigation Fund, the MGC recently awarded $1.5 million to the City of Chelsea to fund transportation improvements.

The city received two grants from the MGC in 2020, both a $1,000,000 Transportation Construction Project grant and a $500,000 Specific Impact grant, to fund a portion of the comprehensive reconstruction of Beacham and Williams Streets, from Spruce Street to the City’s boundary with Everett.

The project consists of roadway and utility reconstruction, intersection upgrades, and the installation of pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and will help in mitigating the increase in traffic created by the opening of Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.

“Congestion impacts and wear and tear of the Beacham and Williams Street corridor warranted a robust and thoughtful reconstruction of the roadway for vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian uses alike,” said Ben Cares, Planner and Project Manager for the City of Chelsea’s Department of Housing and Community Development. “Therefore, the City of Chelsea saw a significant financial opportunity to better the lives of our residents and users of this corridor and applied for the funding through the Community Mitigation Fund.”

Once completed, the construction will result in a rebuilt roadway designed in accordance with contemporary standards, offering a multitude of improvements for commuters in Chelsea.

Cares mentioned the addition of cutting edge signalization and traffic management and “a gorgeous new shared use pathway for walking, running, and biking abutting the Island End Park,” and said the project will “serve as an earmark for future development of the adjacent industrial areas in order to foster a harmonious scenario of industrial, commercial, passive, commuting and recreational uses within the Beacham and Williams corridor.”

To help finance the project, the City of Chelsea applied for funding through a category new to the 2020 Community Mitigation Fund, Transportation Construction Project grants, which will help ease the financial burden for the city as it looked towards making these improvements.

“The additional category of Transportation Construction Project Grants fostered a lighter lift on the City of Chelsea’s end for this monumental infrastructure project and allowed for capital improvement financing to be utilized for underground utility reconstruction within the corridor,” said Cares. “The Transportation Construction Project Grant program has been an enormous help to our municipality.”

In total, $3.2 million in Transportation Construction Project grants was awarded to five different applicants across the Commonwealth as a result of the 2020 Community Mitigation Fund, and Joe Delaney, Chief of the MGC’s Division of Community Affairs, believes the trend will continue for years to come.

“For the first year of this program, we programmed $3 million for construction grants and received applications for over $5.7 million in projects,” said Delaney. “In the end, we funded $3.2 million in grants. We certainly expect that this category will have significant interest by the host and surrounding communities for the next few years.”

The City of Chelsea has also received funding for transportation improvements through the Community Mitigation Fund in the past, including a $105,000 combined, Non-Transportation Planning grant alongside the City of Everett in 2019, and a $200,000 Transportation Planning grant in 2018 for the design and engineering of the Beacham and Williams Street Corridor project.

“This process actually started a few years ago, and the Transportation Planning funding the MGC awarded allowed the City of Chelsea to advance the project design and apply for $3,000,000 of grant funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration for this project,” said MGC Program Manager Mary Thurlow. “The City of Chelsea has worked hard to gather funding from many sources for this project.”

“The City of Chelsea is extremely grateful for the opportunity to submit this program for review by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission under the Community Mitigation Fund,” said Cares. “Acceptance of our application, the subsequent award, and the ongoing coordination between the City of Chelsea and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is a sterling example of our mutual entities looking to provide meaningful workforce development, beautification, and transit improvements for the entire Greater Boston Region.”

Since 2015, the MGC has awarded approximately $23 million in grants from the Community Mitigation Fund. To learn more about the Community Mitigation Fund, click here.

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