BOSTON – Reading will receive $594,466.76 in Chapter 90 road and bridge funding as part of a $375 million municipal transportation bond bill recently finalized by the House and Senate with the support of House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), and State Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester).
House Bill 4013, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, includes $200 million in Chapter 90 roadway money and an additional $150 million to support six transportation-related state grant programs. The bill also contains $25 million in municipal road construction funding to assist rural communities, specifically those with a population of less than 10,000 and a population density under 500 people per square mile.
House Bill 4013 represents a compromise reached by a six-member Conference Committee that worked to resolve the differences between prior versions of the bill approved by the House and Senate earlier this year. The bill was enacted in both branches on July 27 and is now before Governor Maura Healey for her review and signature.
Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program allocates funding annually to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, using a formula based on the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%) and employment (20.83%). Funding is provided on a reimbursable basis, with cities and towns required to complete the work up-front before being compensated by the state for eligible costs.
“Cities and towns rely on the Chapter 90 program to help address their local transportation infrastructure priorities,” said Representative Jones. “The town’s legislative delegation is pleased to help deliver this critical funding to Reading so it can carry out needed road and bridge repairs.”
“This appropriation will assist in completing important infrastructure projects, as well as ensuring roadway safety for our residents,” said Representative Haggerty. “I was proud to work with Minority Leader Jones and Senator Lewis in securing this new spending authorization providing Reading with the needed resources to improve sidewalks and local roadways.”
“I’m very pleased that the state legislature is providing these critical funds to our local communities for transportation improvements,” said Senator Lewis. “I know that this money will certainly be put to good use in Reading improving roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure.”
In addition to the $200 million in Chapter 90 funding and the $25 million set aside to assist rural communities, House Bill 4013 also authorizes a total of $150 million in additional grant program funding, with $25 million apiece provided for:
• the construction, repair, and improvement of pavement and surface conditions on non-federally funded roadways;
• the Municipal Small Bridge program, which supports the design, engineering, construction, preservation, reconstruction and repair of, or improvements to, non-federally aided bridges;
• 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;
• bus-focused mass transit initiatives;
• accessibility improvements at mass transit and commuter rail stations; and
• facilitating municipalities’ and regional transit authorities’ transition to electric and zero emission vehicles.