BOSTON – Reading will receive $599,388 in state funding to help maintain local roads and bridges under a proposed $350 million transportation infrastructure bond bill recently approved by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), Representative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) and their colleagues in the House of Representatives.
House Bill 4638, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, was engrossed by the House on a unanimous roll call vote of 156-0 on March 30. The bill provides for $200 million in state borrowing for the Chapter 90 program for Fiscal Year 2023, while also authorizing an additional $150 million in funding for five municipal grant programs to assist cities and towns with their local transportation needs.
Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program allocates funding annually to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, using a formula that takes into account the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%) and employment (20.83%). The program provides funding on a reimbursable basis, with cities and towns paying up-front for eligible expenses before receiving state compensation
“This new Chapter 90 allocation will allow Reading to carry out critical road and bridge repairs, now that the spring construction season is getting underway,” said Representative Jones. “House Bill 4638 also makes a sizeable investment in several state-run grant programs that town officials can access to help address other local transportation priorities.”
“This appropriation will provide Reading with the resources it needs to repave local roadways and upgrade infrastructure,” said Representative Haggerty. “I was pleased to vote in favor of this aid to assist our communities in keeping our roads safe and complete local paving projects.”
In addition to the $200 million allocated for the Chapter 90 program, House Bill 4638 also provides for the following:
- a $40 million increase for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, repair and improvement of pavement and surface conditions on non-federally aided roadways;
- a $30 million increase in the municipal small bridge program, which supports the design, engineering, construction, preservation, reconstruction and repair of, or improvements to, non-federally aided bridges;
- a $25 million increase for the Complete Streets Program, which provides technical assistance and construction funding to eligible municipalities seeking to provide safe and accessible travel mode options for people of all ages and abilities;
- a $25 million increase for grants to municipalities for the prioritization and enhancement of mass transit by bus; and
- and a $25 million increase for grants to municipalities to expand access to mass transit and commuter rail stations.
House Bill 4638 now heads to the Senate for its consideration.