The Massachusetts State Legislation has passed a transportation bill to benefit local municipalities that was supported by Burlington’s representatives on Capitol Hill.
On Thursday, July 15, 2021, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) joined their colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature in passing a bill that will invest $350 million in municipal transportation and selected statewide transportation infrastructure projects. The bill, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, authorizes $200 million for municipal roads and bridges through the Chapter 90 program and $150 million to support statewide projects to address congestion, support electric vehicle infrastructure, prioritize bus infrastructure, and improve public transit.
Burlington will receive $1,092,064 of the $200 million in Chapter 90 funding for projects to maintain, improve, and repair roadways, bridges, sidewalks, and bikeways.
“The Chapter 90 proposal advanced by the Legislature directly supports our communities as travel and commuting increases,” said Senator Friedman. “Investing in projects that support reliable, safe, and accessible transportation infrastructure is vital to our communities’ overall well-being, both in the short- and long-term. Thank you to Senate President Spilka, Chair Rodrigues, Senator Boncore, and my colleagues in the House for prioritizing these much needed transportation improvements.”
“It is important that we maintain safe roads, bridges and bikeways and this funding will allow us to do so,” said Representative Gordon. “This is especially important as residents return to their work-places and depend on safe and efficient ways to get there.”
The bill also includes the following components:
- $25 million for the Municipal Small Bridge Program to support replacement or preservation of structurally deficient local bridges critical to local communities and not eligible for existing federal aid programs.
- $25 million for the Local Bottleneck Program to address localized traffic bottlenecks and invest in infrastructure to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow, and reduce idling and greenhouse gas emissions.
- $25 million for Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure to support municipalities and regional transit authorities in their efforts to install EV infrastructure and purchase EVs and zero-emission vehicles.
- $25 million for Transit-Supportive Infrastructure to create dedicated bus lanes, enhance bus stops and train stations, support passenger safety, upgrade technology and modernize infrastructure to meet demand and increase frequency of public transit services, and improve access to public transit.
- $25 million for Bus Prioritization and Enhancement Projects to support municipalities in their efforts to create bus rapid transit lanes, construct catenary wires for electric trolley buses, purchase equipment for transit signal prioritization, and make improvements at bus stations and stops.
- $25 million for Enhancements at Transit and Commuter Rail Stations to support municipalities in their efforts to construct parking lots and structures, drop-off and pick-up zones, electric vehicle charging stations, park-and-ride locations, bicycle parking or bicycle cages, and accommodations for micro-mobility devices.
Additionally, the bill includes language clarifying that transportation infrastructure projects are an allowable use of American Rescue Plan Act funds, consistent with U.S. Treasury guidelines.
After being passed by the House and Senate, the legislation went to Governor Baker for his signature. The Governor signed the legislation on July 16, 2021.