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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has signed an infrastructure bill providing funds for road and bridge projects in every city and town in the state.
The legislation, known as “an act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges,” authorizes $200 million in transportation funds to support Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns.
The funding was made possible through the Chapter 90 program, which reimburses cities and towns for approved projects. Chapter 90 funds apply to transportation purposes such as highway construction and preservation projects.
“Chapter 90 funding provides cities and towns with critical resources to carry out important projects like highway construction and road paving to improve local infrastructure in communities across Massachusetts,” Baker said. “We thank the Legislature for working with our administration to pass this bill and continue our support for local officials this construction season.”
In order to qualify for reimbursement through the Chapter 90 program, cities and towns must submit receipts to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Highway Division office in their district.
Baker’s administration has awarded a total of $1.14 billion through the Chapter 90 formula since the governor took office in 2015. Baker approved $100 million in funding through the program on his first day in office.
For the past few years, some $200 million in Chapter 90 funding has been apportioned annually for municipalities across the state. Funding amounts vary depending on the city. For example, Boston received more than $14 million through the program in Fiscal 2019.
“Chapter 90 funding is a critically important program that provides flexibility to cities and towns to prioritize important local projects,” said Michael Heffernan, secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. “We are pleased to continue to support these infrastructure investments through our administration’s capital investment plan.”
Modernizing municipal transportation systems is one focus area for the governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation. The commission, created in January 2018, released its two-part report on transportation challenges and recommendations in December 2018. The report addresses a host of issues, including autonomous vehicles and greenhouse gas emissions.
FOTC-ExecutiveSummary by on Scribd
Specifically for municipalities, the report recommends prioritizing investment in transit, transforming roadways and travel corridors and improving congestion management.
“As the governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth report pointed out, transportation needs, challenges and solutions vary across the state, so it is appropriate that communities have Chapter 90 funds to use on their specific priorities,” Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said.