NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford has been awarded $2.5 million from the state's MassWorks Infrastructure Program for bicycle and pedestrian improvements to West Rodney French Boulevard.

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced the award along with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba and other state and local officials.

The grant will go towards bicycle and pedestrian pathways on the boulevard, as well as traffic signal equipment on the intersection with Brock Avenue.

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New Bedford was also given an Urban Agenda Award of $75,000 dollars for post-COVID 19 Master Planning.

“We are pleased to partner with New Bedford to support significant upgrades to public infrastructure that will have transformative effects along West Rodney French Boulevard," said Governor Charlie Baker.

“New Bedford’s MassWorks award will directly support important improvements that will make West Rodney French Boulevard safer and function more efficiently for all modes of transportation," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.

The grants from MassWorks and Urban Agenda are both included in the Community One Stop For Growth platform and are applicant based.

Community One Stop For Growth also gave awards to two New Bedford organizations that applied for funding.

The Verdean Veterans Memorial Foundation received $285,000 to upgrade their 561 Purchase St. property, and the Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts was given $775,000 to restore the Capitol Theater on Acushnet Avenue.

The Capitol Theater plans include a neighborhood resilience hub, community and small business resources and other services on the first floor, with affordable housing on the second floor.

“New Bedford has demonstrated how applicants can be creative with grant funding to maximize the impact of state investments in transformative projects,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.

“We appreciate the willingness of the Baker-Polito Administration to support projects like these that build on one of the city’s core strengths, namely its connection to the water,” said Mayor Mitchell.

— Aliana Liz Tavares

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