BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration is filing “An Act Financing Improvements to Municipal Roads and Bridges,” which requests $200 million in Chapter 90 funds for local transportation infrastructure projects across Massachusetts.
“We are proud to once again file for $200 million for Chapter 90 funds for cities and towns as we approach the road construction season,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This essential and flexible funding allows our municipalities to make infrastructure upgrades that promote reliability and public safety on roads and bridges, as well as economic development and job creation, and we hope for swift action by the legislature.”
Through the Chapter 90 program, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) reimburses cities and towns for costs incurred for eligible transportation projects. Funding is awarded by municipality, and is predetermined by a formula that includes factors such as population, road miles, and employment. This is the third year that the Baker-Polito Administration has filed for $200 million for Chapter 90 funds. In total, since taking office in 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has released $500 million in Chapter 90 infrastructure funds.
“Our administration has prioritized strengthening the state’s relationship with the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, and Chapter 90 funding is an important resource in that partnership,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “In addition to unrestricted local aid and Chapter 70 education monies, these infrastructure funds are yet one more tool for local leaders to apply to their specific needs and improve their communities.”
The legislation includes a technical change to allow municipalities to more easily use Chapter 90 funds upon approval of the grant by MassDOT, removing an existing requirement that an appropriation be made by the local legislative body.
“Prioritizing aid for our cities and towns has always been at the forefront during our budget planning process, and the administration has continued this commitment this year,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Lepore. “Local aid, including Chapter 90 funding, is key to ensuring all communities across Massachusetts thrive.”
“We are proud to work closely with cities and towns to improve transportation infrastructure,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Chapter 90 funding allows municipal leaders who best know the needs of their communities to make crucial capital improvements that keep the Commonwealth moving forward.”
In addition to the Chapter 90 funding, the legislation also includes $30 million for a mobility assistance program through which MassDOT can purchase accessible vehicles on behalf of municipal transit agencies, local councils on aging, and private non-profits to provide transportation services to seniors and individuals with disabilities. The bill also provides $70 million for upgrades to the Registry of Motor Vehicles’ core information technology system, ATLAS.
In one of his first official acts after taking office in 2015, Governor Baker directed MassDOT to release $100 million in Chapter 90 funds that had been promised the previous year, fulfilling a commitment made to cities and towns. In total, the Baker-Polito Administration has released $500 million in Chapter 90 infrastructure funds, and if approved by the legislature, today’s request would bring that total to $700 million.
More information about the Chapter 90 Program is available on the MassDOT web site: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us.