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Transportation Bill Earmarks Upgrades to Roads and Bridges

The $1.5 billion bill helps build infrastructure that strengthens the state’s economy over the long term, governor says.

Gov. Deval Patrick called the $1.5 billion transportation bond bill he signed Thursday what the state needs to strengthen its economy and "quality of life for the long term.”

“Our transportation infrastructure had suffered from years of neglect, so this administration started rebuilding roads, rails and bridges in every corner of our state and creating thousands of jobs," Patrick said after he enacted the bill, which enjoyed the strong support of the Legislature, passing the House by a vote of 150-2 on July 31, the last day of the session.

The bond bill ensures funding for many projects already under way and allots money for the planning of future improvements across the state. 

It also continues funding for the final year of 2008's five-year Accelerated Bridge Program, the largest statewide infrastructure investment program ever, according to the administration. The bridge program has reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges by almost 20 percent, the governor's office said.

While no earmarks will send funds to Wrentham, the nearby Norfolk Commuter Rail station will benefit from the bill.

According to the bill, $3,000,000 shall be expended for the construction of a bridge over the MBTA railroad right of way on Main street at the intersection of Boardman street on the condition that the town of Norfolk agrees to pay $2,000,000, to be deposited into the General Fund, in equal payments each year for 20 years commencing in fiscal year 2018 to reimburse the cost of the bridge construction.

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