METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – A $3 million MassWorks grant awarded to the city this week will go toward work to help improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety along Rte. 20 near the new Apex Center.
The grant was awarded by Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito during a ceremony Tuesday in Worcester.
The Apex Center, which will feature hotels, restaurants, businesses and an entertainment complex. Upgrades will include the installation of new turning lanes, signals, crosswalks, sidewalks and signs.
“They’re all associated with the Apex Center project,” said Meredith Harris, executive director of the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation. “It’s great for the city. These things are all needed.”
Overhauling sections of Rte. 20 at Boundary Street, Hayes Memorial Drive and Ames Street will allow for more pedestrian access. With the new sidewalks and crosswalks, residents living at the new Talia apartments and other nearby homes can walk to the Apex Center and safely cross Rte. 20 to the RK Plaza.
“They’re trying to improve pedestrian safety,” said Harris.
Harris anticipates construction will begin in early 2017.
In late summer, construction crews began clearing trees at the site of the 475,000-square-foot Apex Center. Hyatt and Marriott have each committed to build a hotel at the site, while 110 Grille, Evviva Cucina and Chick-Fil-A will open eateries. The complex will also feature a Starbucks, other stores and offices.
“The project will not only be great for our residents, but it will also help attract new employers and prospective employees to our city,” Mayor Arthur Vigeant said in a press release. “I’m grateful to Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Polito for their continued support of Marlborough – these MassWorks funds will be used to upgrade the transportation infrastructure in the vicinity of the Apex Center project. In addition to the upgrades that the Apex Center developers are performing themselves, these investments in our infrastructure will benefit this part of Marlborough long into the future.”
The grant was awarded through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is intended to be a “one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation,” according to the state’s website.
“MassWorks allows us to support public infrastructure investments generating immediate investments that bring new jobs and housing to our cities and towns,” Baker said in a press release. “It is also one of our most flexible programs, empowering communities to seek effective solutions to local priorities and allowing the administration to focus on funding projects that will generate substantial, long-term regional growth.”
The city has received MassWorks funds for the reconstruction of Simarano Drive and upgrades to East Main Street. The Simarano Drive project was completed last year, while the East Main Street work has not yet begun.
This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.