BOSTON – The Town of Reading will receive $594,466.76 in Chapter 90 state funding to help maintain its roads and bridges under a proposed $350 million transportation bond bill recently approved by the House of Representatives with the support of House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn).
House Bill 3547, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, received preliminary House approval on March 23 when it was engrossed on a vote of 153-0. The bill includes $200 million in Chapter 90 money for Fiscal Year 2024 to support local transportation infrastructure projects in communities across the state, along with $150 million in additional funding to support six transportation-related municipal grant programs.
Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program allocates funding annually to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, using a formula that calculates 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 pay for the work up-front before being compensated by the state for eligible costs.
“The Chapter 90 program offers a critical source of revenue to help communities like Reading address their local transportation infrastructure priorities,” said Representative Jones. “I’m happy to join with Representative Haggerty to support this new spending authorization, along with an increase in funding for other transportation-related state grant programs that Reading could potentially access for its infrastructure needs.”
“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 roadway and sidewalk projects.”
In addition to the $200 million allocated to the Chapter 90 program, House Bill 3547 also provides for funding increases for six grant programs available to municipalities, including:
•a program to fund the construction, repair, and improvement of pavement and surface conditions on non-federally funded roadways, which would increase from $140 million to $165 million;
•the Municipal Small Bridge program, which supports the design, engineering, construction, preservation, reconstruction and repair of, or improvements to, non-federally aided bridges, and would increase from $125 million to $150 million;
•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, and would increase from $80 million to $105 million;
•municipal grants for bus-focused mass transit initiatives, which would increase from $75 million to $100 million;
•municipal grants for accessibility improvements at mass transit and commuter rail stations, which would increase from $75 million to $100 million; and
•funding assistance for municipalities to facilitate the transition to electric and zero emission vehicles, which would increase from $50 million to $75 million.
House Bill 3547 now heads to the Senate for its consideration.