Senate, House Approve Bill to Fund Transportation Infrastructure Projects
The Senate and House have agreed to a final transportation bond bill authorizing $12.7 billion in capital spending over the next five years for improvements to the Commonwealth’s transportation system, Senator Karen Spilka announced. The Senate and House each passed different versions of the spending bill in March and accepted the compromise report released by a conference committee this week. The bill will receive a final formal vote in both branches before heading to the Governor’s desk to be signed.
“Reliable, well-maintained transportation infrastructure is key for quality of life and economic development across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Spilka. “This bill supports many important transportation projects in MetroWest and state-wide to address accessibility, safety and traffic issues. This is a significant step in our continuing efforts to improve our roads, bridges and public transportation.”
The bill includes funding for repairs, improvements and construction of highways, roads, bridges and parks across the state, as well as rail and bus projects. The bill also includes a $300 million spending authorization in Fiscal Year 2015 for the Chapter 90 program to fund local road repairs.
Senator Spilka has been working for many years to increase state support for a number of local transportation infrastructure projects that are funded in the bill, including:
- $7,000,000 for projects to mitigate impacts at the at-grade rail crossings in Ashland and Framingham
- $2,000,000 for the planning, design and reconstruction of the Route 126/Pond Street corridor in Ashland
- $5,000,000 for a parking garage in downtown Natick
- $1,000,000 for improvements to Route 109 in Medway
Senator Spilka is also pleased that projects addressing infrastructure needs throughout MetroWest are funded in this bill, including:
- $3,000,000 for the Cochituate Rail Trail in Natick
- $750,000 for the Upper Charles Rail Trail in Holliston
- $750,000 for planning, design and infrastructure of Route 135, Route 85 and West Main Street in Hopkinton
- $4,100,000 for improvements to the Route 27 and Route 9 intersection in Natick
- $2,358,000 for the new Marion Street Bridge in Natick
- $300,000 for safety study and improvements at the intersection of Route 140 and Panther Way in Franklin
Senator Spilka’s initiative to fund in-state repair facilities for the state’s fleet of mass transit vehicles is also included in the bill. This proposal will support the construction of maintenance, manufacturing and assembly facilities within Massachusetts, in order to encourage the creation of new in-state jobs and cut down costs associated with shipping vehicles to out-of-state repair facilities.
The Senate anticipates a final vote on the bill Thursday before sending it to the Governor for his signature.