January 6 2020

Supplemental State Budget Means an Extra $108K for Burlington Road Work

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington, along with communities across the state, will receive more funds for road repairs than initially expected. 


The Baker-Polito Administration announced on Monday that $20 million in additional funding will be provided to cities and towns in Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) for road construction and transportation improvement projects.  


This funding was included in a supplemental budget signed by Governor Charlie Baker on Friday, December 13, bringing total funding for FY20 awarded through the Chapter 90 formula to $220 million, a release from the governor’s office states. With this additional $20 million, the total funding to date provided through the Chapter 90 program during the Baker-Polito Administration is now $1.36 billion.


“This funding represents our continued commitment to supporting communities as they address the maintenance and modernization of local infrastructure, which are a critical part of the Commonwealth’s transportation network,” said Governor Baker.  “We are pleased to provide this additional transportation funding for local projects in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”


Chapter 90 transportation funds support all 351 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.  Funding for each municipality is predetermined by a formula that includes factors such as population, road miles, and employment.


What this means for Burlington is an increase of $108,177 from the original Chapter 90 pledge of $1,081,766 for a new total of $1,189,943. 


Department of Public Works Director John Sanchez said that whenever the town receives additional funds for projects it is also a positive development. 


“I think it’s great,” he said. “It gets us closer and closer to the point where we have fewer and fewer roads in bad condition.” 


Sanchez also explained how roads are selected for re-paving work. He said that rather than only addressing those in the worst condition the town actually makes roads in “good” condition a priority to get them up to top notch condition. This is because it is much more cost effective to maintain roads when they are still in okay condition than to redo them when they fall into a poor state. 


“It sort of works the opposite of how people may think,” Sanchez said. “The pavement manager takes the roads that are good condition and spends money to bring it up to excellent condition to keep them from deteriorating. When roads get in really bad conditions they are very expensive. Cheaper to prevent that from happening in the first place.”


This, he says, allows the other funds not used in maintenance to address the problem areas. 


“That allows us to free up money for roads that are in the worst condition,” he explained. “We do a few poor roads each year.”


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