Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria joined Gov. Charlie Baker and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone at a press conference Friday to announce construction plans for a new pedestrian footbridge that will connect the Assembly Square MBTA Station with the Encore Boston Harbor casino and resort property.
Mother Nature delivered a beautiful October day for the event that was held with the spectacular, $3 billion Encore Resort glistening in the sunshine behind the speakers at the press conference.
Gov. Baker said the footbridge project “has always fallen in the category of, yes, we should really find a way to make this happen.”
“The hard part has just been figuring out to how to put the pieces together to get it done,” continued Baker. “The Gaming Commission recently awarded a $650,000 grant to finish the final design work on this, and at that point in time, we as an administration basically said, okay, final design is paid for, we’re going to fund this project and make it happen.”
Baker’s comment noting his strong commitment to the project drew hearty applause from the audience.
“We can’t wait to put the shovels in the ground and get this bridge built,” concluded Baker.
Secretary of Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides said the new footbridge “will be an important new asset to thousands of people and will connect the cities of Everett and Somerville and open up new access for residents and visitors to restaurants, businesses, and services, and transportation options.”
Theoharides also thanked Mayors DeMaria and Curtatone for their leadership in the project.
Secretary of Transportation also praised the two mayors for “their leadership at the municipal level to encourage and lead and guide us”, noting that “it takes a partnership to build, these great things.”
DRC Commissioner Jim Montgomery, who served as the leader of the speaking program, introduced Mayor DeMaria, “a lifelong resident of Everett who signed the historic, host-community agreement between Everett and Wynn Development to bring the resort-casino to the banks of the Mystic River.”
DeMaria personally thanked Gov. Baker at the outset of his speech, stating, “We really appreciate you being here and doing this for the residents of Everett. I’m totally overwhelmed to be here and to finally get some access to a ‘T’ station that we so rightfully deserve.”
DeMaria told the gathering that he was pleased to be at Encore “for a momumental announcement about a project that will positively impact the entire metro Boston area.”
“Most importantly, to me, we will be getting an amazing opportunity for my hometown of Everett,” said DeMaria, who thanked several officials for their support of the project.
DeMaria specifically noted the cooperation and support from Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, “for your unwavering commitment to viable transit, which is remarkable. This bridge will be so beneficial to so many people across Massachusetts. It is an undeniable symbol of the commitment you both have to build a better future for Everett.”
DeMaria also noted the presence of “my colleague and friend, Mayor Joe Curtatone,” at the press conference.
“Thank you for your continued support and coordination in advancing the bridge as well as the Assembly Row Headhouse Expansion Project,” said DeMaria. “You have been remarkable neighbors and partners throughout this project.”
Curtatone praised DeMaria in his remarks. “It’s great to be here with all of you, and it’s testimony to anything great we do as a society is a product of many hands,” said Curtatone. “It’s advocacy, it’s actvism, it’s investment. It’s policy leaders, it’s people giving a damn about where they live and the future of their city. I hope you get that sincere passion and flavor from the mayor of Everett, because I admire him greatly.”