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State stimulus director tours road project



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Jeffrey Simon, Director of the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office visited Southbridge Wednesday to view the $2 million Route 169 project, funded by a federal stimulus plan. Adam T. Silva. (click for larger version)
December 16, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Jeffrey Simon likes what he sees.

The Director of the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office visited Southbridge Wednesday to see the impact the $2 million Route 169 road project has had in town.

"This project has taken a country road that was pretty, meandering and was marginally safe but still sub-standard," said Simon. "They have brought it up to be a modern road that is still pretty and is much safer and functions better. It will now last a lot longer."

The project is the reconstruction of Route 169 from the Connecticut state line all the way to Route 131. The four-mile project involves milling and resurfacing, fixing drainage issues and widening the road.

"When the federal stimulus program that was passed a year ago last February came along, one of the main goals was to get people back to work," said Simon. "All of the money [from the state] came in specific areas. We received $438 million for transportation. We took that money and keeping with the requirement that we look at shovel-ready projects that were ready to go that would get people back to work right away."

Stimulus-funded work has been done in every county in the state and 90 percent of towns and cities have had jobs created from the stimulus project. The stimulus money could fund only federally-owned roads, not roads owned by the state, town or private roads.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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