Massachusetts governor signs $11.3 billion transportation bond bill

August 12, 2022

Keith Goble

|

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday signed an $11.37 billion transportation bond bill that authorizes major investments for roads, bridges and transit. The plan taps federal aid and state surplus revenue.

Previously H5151, the new law includes $400 million for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to address safety concerns identified by the federal government. Another $275 million is included to help get started on western Massachusetts passenger rail expansion.

Senate President Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, said the bill has far-reaching benefits for the state’s infrastructure.

“Not only does this bill fund much-needed transportation repairs for all modes and communities, but it also goes much further to invest in infrastructure that is more modern, environmentally sustainable, and regionally equitable,” Spilka said in a news release.

Leveraging funds

The plan leverages state surplus and federal pandemic relief funds to pursue federal funds via the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a five-year federal transportation funding bill that provides record federal funding to states.

The federal law also permits Massachusetts to apply for about $2.5 billion in grants for local road repairs, and other infrastructure improvements.

“MassTRAC will invest $11.4 billion in the Commonwealth’s roads, bridges and environmental infrastructure through proven, existing programs, including the  Complete Streets and the Municipal Small Bridge Program,” Baker stated. “The bill will also advance major projects in cities and towns across the state by providing matching funds that will allow Massachusetts to compete for funding through the federal bipartisan infrastructure law.”

The breakdown of the bond authorizations includes the following:

  • $3.5 billion for discretionary federal grant projects.
  • $2.8 billion for federal highway systems projects.
  • $1.375 billion for transit systems.
  • $1.27 billion for non-federally aided roads and bridges.
  • $920 million for local transportation projects.
  • $85 million for state-numbered routes road pavement projects.
  • $25 million for municipal road pavement improvements.

The governor used his amendment authority to add a provision to expand by eight members a proposed pricing commission that would be responsible for studying and making recommendations on congestion pricing. One seat would be filled by a representative from the Trucking Association of Massachusetts. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from Massachusetts.

 

TravelCenters

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.