Governor Deval Patrick traveled to Lowell (again) yesterday to deliver the $15mil needed for the reconstruction of the Lord Overpass. This infrastructure work is critical to the success of the entire Hamilton Canal District, particularly the Judicial Center.
Standing in the open lot at the end of Jackson Street that will the site of the Judicial Center, Governor Patrick began his remarks by saying
“As I look around, there’s not a building we haven’t touched in some way [with state funds]. Senator Donoghue has been all over us about this overpass so she deserves much of the credit for this. But this is not just about roads. It’s about people and neighborhoods. We invest in people, not projects. Lowell has demonstrated repeatedly that it has the vision to do this.
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas spoke next, thanking the Governor for sticking with this project. She said it was too bad that he won’t still be in office when the project is completed (the Governor leaves office in less than 90 days). In government, she concluded, much of what we do is about the future.
Senator Donoghue said that what we were seeing today was a result of a partnership between Federal, State and local government. “We’re so lucky to have the support of the governor for this transformative development,” she said. Next, she commended Governor Patrick and MassDOT for their willingness to invest in infrastructure that transforms neighborhoods and brings jobs to the city.
The photo below is the diagram of the project. The bottom of the map is the Highlands and the top is towards Downtown. The two roads running from the bottom to the rotary are Chelmsford St (on the right) and Middlesex St (on the left). The two running from the other side of the rotary to the top of the map are Appleton St (right) and Middlesex St (left). Further to the left of the chart is the new road, an extension of Jackson Street that connects with Thorndike in a major intersection. Just across that intersection is Fletcher St, running in from the left side of the map. Thorndike St bisects the map horizontally. Once completed, cars coming from almost any direction will be able to turn down Jackson St Extension to access the Judicial Center (which will be built between the Jackson St Ext and Middlesex St) and the rest of the Hamilton Canal District. If I have one concern about this design, it’s that accommodations for pedestrians trying to cross Thorndike/Dutton Street at any point don’t seem too prominent.