Reading to receive $593,266 for local road and bridge projects

BOSTON – Reading is slated to receive $593,266 in Chapter 90 road and bridge funding in Fiscal Year 2025 under proposed legislation that authorizes $375 million in state bond money to assist cities and towns with the repair and maintenance of their local transportation infrastructure.

Approved by the House of Representatives on April 3 with the support of House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), House Bill 4529 provides for the distribution of $200 million in statewide Chapter 90 funding, along with $25 million in road assistance targeted specifically for rural communities. The bill also authorizes another $150 million in spending to support six state grant programs cities and towns can access for help with local transportation-related projects.

“The Chapter 90 program is an important state-municipal partnership that provides a vital revenue source to help cities and towns maintain local roads and bridges,” said Representative Jones. “With this funding, communities like Reading can address their transportation infrastructure needs and priorities on an annual basis. This bill also provides funding for several municipal grant programs that offer additional resources to assist our cities and towns in carrying out critical transportation-related initiatives.”

“This significant investment in our community’s transportation needs is vitally important to ensure safe and dependable roads and sidewalks in our community,” said Representative Haggerty. “I’m proud to support and help secure this critical funding measure, which will equip our community with the necessary resources to tackle local road paving and sidewalk improvement projects.”

Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program provides funding to cities and towns on a reimbursable basis, with communities required to pay for the work up-front before being compensated by the state. The distribution of the funding is based on a formula that considers the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%), and employment (20.83%).

House Bill 4529 also allocates $25 million for the rural roads program to assist rural communities with the construction and reconstruction of municipal ways. Launched in 2023, the program defines rural communities as having a population of less than 10,000 and a population density that is under 500 people per square mile. The distribution of funds under this program is based on a weighted formula that considers a municipality’s local road mileage (20%), population (20%), and its status as a rural community (60%).

Jones and Haggerty noted that House Bill 4529 also allocates $150 million in funding to six transportation-related state grant programs that are available to cities and towns, with $25 million each provided for the:

  • Municipal Pavement Program, which focuses on the improvement of municipally owned state numbered routes;
  • Municipal Small Bridge Program, which provides funding to municipalities for the replacement, preservation, and rehabilitation of non-federally aided bridges and approaches;
  • Complete Streets Program, which supports the implementation of safe and accessible transit options for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists of all ages and abilities;
  • Municipal Bus Enhancement Program, which can be used for bus shelters, bus lanes, and signal prioritization to enhance mass transit by bus;
  • Mass Transit Access Grant Program, which can be used for enhancements that increase access to mass transit and commuter rail stations; and
  • Municipal/RTA EV Grant Program, which provides grants to municipalities and regional transit authorities for the purchase of electric vehicles and charging equipment.

House Bill 4529 now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

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