Money will help pay for local transportation infrastructure upgrades
BOSTON – Reading’s State House delegation is supporting a statewide bond authorization that will provide the town with $594,643 to help fund local transportation infrastructure upgrades in Fiscal Year 2021.
House Bill 4803, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, was enacted by the House of Representatives on June 30 and by the Senate on July 2. The bill authorizes $200 million in spending under the state’s Chapter 90 program and is now on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk awaiting his signature.
Established by the Legislature in 1973, the Chapter 90 program provides funding to municipalities on an annual basis to assist with critical transportation infrastructure projects, including road and bridge repairs. The funding is allocated using a formula that is based on the weighted average of a community’s population, employment, and total road miles.
“The economic fallout from the COVID-19 global pandemic has created a significant financial strain on municipal budgets across Massachusetts,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “By authorizing a new round of Chapter 90 funding, the Legislature is fulfilling its ongoing commitment to maintaining strong state-municipal partnerships by providing communities like Reading with the resources needed to carry out important transportation upgrades.”
“This appropriation will provide Reading with the resources it needs to repave local roadways and upgrade infrastructure,” said Representative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn). “I was pleased to vote in favor of this aid to assist our communities in keeping our roads safe and complete local paving projects.”
“Leaders at the state and local level continue to work together to ensure that our public infrastructure and transportation network are safe, reliable, and useful,” said Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester). “Even in the face of a global pandemic and an economic recession, I believe that investment in our infrastructure must remain a top priority to ensure the safety and prosperity of our communities and our region.”
Chapter 90 funding can be used for a variety of purposes, including road resurfacing, sidewalks, street lighting, traffic control measures, and roadside drainage. Municipalities can also use the money for the purchase, replacement, and long-term lease of road building machinery, equipment, and tools.