SHIRLEY -- Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito was busy in central Massachusetts on Monday, touting the results of the administration's MassWorks projects and seeing first-hand how those projects have turned out.
A 3 p.m. stop in Shirley had Polito cutting the ribbon on a recently completed bridge refurbishing near the town center.
A small crowd gathered in the afternoon drizzle to hear Polito and town officials describe the success of the state's multimillion dollar, federally funded infrastructure-rebuilding initiative.
The historic bridge in Shirley is one of dozens of projects that have begun or have been finished since the announcement of the grant application portal.
"If we can partner with our cities and towns, we can make it better for everyone," Polito said. "This is a critical piece of infrastructure that connects places and people."
She added that it is now safe for pedestrians and solid enough for the nearby fire department to send its first-responder equipment across.
Shirley Police Chief Samuel Santiago said that the bridge has been, among other things, "an eyesore with all the Jersey barriers along it. Now there are sidewalks."
A later stop in Groton saw Polito show off another completed MassWorks project at the town's Four Corners area. There she cut the ribbon at an ongoing construction site. An 8,000-square-foot Steward Medical Group facility with links to Nashoba Valley Medical Center recently opened at the corner of Great Road and Sandy Pond. A new Dunkin' Donuts stands half-completed.
The development of these commercial centers spawns from the MassWorks investment in a new sewer line in the area.
"These are examples of what the MassWorks program is all about," Polito said.
The investment has already led to significant local construction activity, which will ultimately benefit the greater community.
"The towns will see more tax revenue, more jobs and more housing," Polito said.
She praised the local officials and state legislators who applied for the grants, won them and then completed the projects.
"Municipal government is where it matters to people," Polito said. "The best part of this is meeting people who are proud of their community."
The deadline for a new round of grant applications pased Aug. 10. Winners will be notified later this year if their town is selected.