NEW BEDFORD – The Greater New Bedford Industrial Foundation celebrated the completion last week of Flaherty Drive, an 800-foot extension of New Bedford Business Park.
The extension, dedicated to longtime chair and vice chair of the Industrial Foundation Bill Flaherty, opens up access to a 45-acre parcel for new development that includes water, sewer, gas, electric and telecommunications services, the foundation said.
The $2 million project was completed in August.
“The many local, regional, state and federal partners who came together in support of the Flaherty Drive extension project appreciate that investing in public infrastructure improvements leads to greater private sector investment,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “I look forward to joining with the Greater New Bedford Industrial Foundation to welcome new economic development projects to this newly accessible area of the New Bedford Business Park.”
Flaherty, who died in 2003, was noted for devoting much of his time to improving the New Bedford area and credited with the vision of upgrading the business park to attract and retain high-quality companies.
A memento of the project’s completion was presented to Flaherty’s wife Joan, his daughters Megan and Mary, and other family members at the Nov. 13 ceremony.
“MassDOT would like to express our thanks and congratulations to the numerous stakeholders who joined us to see this project to the end,” said Frank DePaola, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s highway administrator. “This project serves as clear reminder that infrastructure investment, paired with community and government support, does indeed open doors to new economic opportunities.”
Fifty percent of the project funding stemmed from a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant prepared by the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District to the City of New Bedford and the Industrial Foundation. The remaining funding was provided by MassDOT via a federal earmark secured by former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank with the support of U.S. Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.
D.W. White Construction, District 5 of the Massachusetts Highway Department, the New Bedford Public Infrastructure Department and Field Engineering provided construction oversight of the project.