State Rep. Joe McGonagle recently supported a $350 million bond bill to help maintain municipal roads and bridges under the state’s Chapter 90 program and to provide additional funding for several transportation-related municipal grant programs.
House Bill 4638, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, will provide over $690,000 to Everett to assist with the upkeep of its local transportation infrastructure under the state’s Chapter 90 program, which is being funded at $200 million for Fiscal Year 2023. The bill was engrossed on a unanimous vote of 156-0 in the House of Representatives on March 30, but still requires Senate approval and Governor Baker’s signature.
“We had a pretty tough winter and it wasn’t kind to our roads,” said McGonagle. “This money will help us maintain their upkeep and repair them for the rest of the year. We also can use the money for other road related expenses and have the ability to apply for other transportation related grants. Overall, this money is necessary to keep Everett moving and I’m grateful to the House for their work on this.”
McGonagle said the House bill also authorizes $150 million in additional spending for five state grant programs that cities and towns can access for assistance in funding local transportation-related initiatives. Specifically, the bill provides for:
• a $40 million increase for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, repair and improvement of pavement and surface conditions on non-federally aided roadways;
• a $30 million increase in the municipal small bridge program, which supports the design, engineering, construction, preservation, reconstruction and repair of, or improvements to, non-federally aided bridges;
• a $25 million increase for the Complete Streets Program, which provides technical assistance and construction funding to eligible municipalities seeking to provide safe and accessible travel mode options for people of all ages and abilities;
• a $25 million increase for grants to municipalities for the prioritization and enhancement of mass transit by bus; and
• a $25 million increase for grants to municipalities to expand access to mass transit and commuter rail stations.
McGonagle noted the Chapter 90 program is designed to help cities and towns address local transportation priorities by allowing funding to be used for a variety of construction purposes, including road resurfacing, sidewalk repairs, direction and warning signs, traffic signals, crosswalks, and street lighting. Other eligible construction projects include structural work on bridges, culverts, footbridges and pedestrian bridges, and retaining walls.
House Bill 4638 now heads to the Senate for its consideration.