$3.5m for sidewalk repairs makes state bond bill

Dorchester lawmakers this week were able to set aside $3.5 million for repairs of sidewalks stretching from the intersection of Granite Ave. and Gallivan Boulevard to Morrissey Boulevard at UMass Boston. The funding is contained in a transportation borrowing plan the state Senate and House approved late Tuesday night.

State Rep. Marty Walsh has lobbied for the funds, calling the current state of the sidewalks a “disaster.”

State Sen. Jack Hart said something can be constructed for bikers and pedestrians by Malibu Beach. Near the rainbow gas tank, he said, “There’s literally no sidewalk there.”

The state of disrepair has frustrated neighborhood residents, who say they are dissatisfied with temporary patches and state agencies pointing the finger at one another over who has jurisdiction of the area.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is tasked with the project, according to the borrowing bill, which is also known as bond legislation. The bill includes projects across the state.

The bill also includes $950,000 for the planning, design and construction of signal upgrades at the intersection of Morton Street and Gallivan Boulevard in Mattapan. Members of the Dorchester delegation on Beacon Hill have long pushed for an overhaul of the intersection, which is widely viewed as hazardous. According to the Department of Transportation, there have been at least 44 car-related incidents in the last three years.

The 48-page bill also orders the Department of Transportation to set up a hotline allowing citizens to report trash, graffiti and signage obstructions on state roadways, requires the development of standards for reviewing public bridges and the creation of a commission to study project labor agreements in construction projects.

– REPORTER STAFF