House and Senate approve $308,566 in Winter Recovery Assistance Program funding for Reading’s roadways

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), and Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester) recently supported a supplemental spending bill that will provide the Town of Reading with $308,566 in additional state-funded road assistance.

Reading is slated to receive the money as part of a $100 million Winter Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP) initiative included in House Bill 4578, an FY22 supplemental budget that was initially approved by the House on March 9 and by the Senate on March 24. A final version of the bill was enacted in both branches on March 31 and signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on April 1.

Administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the WRAP money can be used for projects such as reconstructing, resurfacing, and striping roads, as well as for repairing or replacing traffic lights, signage, guardrails and storm grates.

“The winter weather has taken a heavy toll on our local roadways, creating potholes and other hazardous driving conditions,” said Representative Jones. “By making state funding available through the WRAP program, Reading will have greater financial flexibility to address these problems without having to tie up limited municipal resources that can now be directed to other local priorities.”

“I was pleased to support these resources that will help our community repair local roadways from the ravages of winter,” said Representative Haggerty. “I strongly support continuing to direct aid to our cities and towns so they can restore neighborhood streets and make them safe for vehicles and pedestrians alike.”

“Our roads and sidewalks are in need of repair after the difficult winter months. Potholes and other damage make commuting to school, work, and other everyday responsibilities more challenging,” said Senator Lewis. “I am glad that Reading is receiving these funds to help improve safety for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.”

The House of Representatives just last week approved a $350 million bond bill to help maintain municipal roads and bridges under the state’s Chapter 90 program and to provide additional funding for several

transportation-related grant programs, including the Municipal Small Bridge Program and the Complete Streets Program. That bill, House Bill 4638, is now before the Senate, which is expected to act on it soon.

Although Chapter 90 funding is allocated using a formula that calculates the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage, population and employment, the WRAP funding is being distributed to communities using a formula based strictly on local road miles.