The Patrick-Murray Administration yesterday submitted to the Legislature a one-year $1.5 billion Transportation Bond Bill that maintains transportation-related infrastructure investments through Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.
The bill provides $200 million in Chapter 90 funds to cities and towns to rebuild and repair local roads and bridges. In addition, the bill creates for the first time a State Infrastructure Bank to allow the state to leverage private investment for targeted projects that create jobs and economic development.
"State capital investments are necessary to maintain and develop a high quality transportation system in Massachusetts," said Governor Deval Patrick. "In light of the urgent need to continue the work we have started together and to provide much-needed Chapter 90 aid to cities and towns, I urge the Legislature to act promptly to enact this bill."
"Governor Patrick and I are committed to helping cities and towns maintain their vital transportation assets," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "These funds will help ensure roads and bridges are repaired so that communities remain vibrant places to live and do business."
The bond bill invests in state road, bridge and rail transportation projects that are funded by the state or by a combination of state and federal funds. Chapter 90 funds for local projects included in the bond bill are allocated to each city and town using a longstanding formula based upon community road miles, population and employment. Chapter 90 funds approved by the Legislature may be used for local road, bridge and multi-use path projects and related needs.
The proposed State Infrastructure Bank will allow the Commonwealth to encourage investment of private equity to construct infrastructure projects. The Bank could make loans financing energy, transportation and municipal development projects that lead to job creation and economic development. The Bank would be governed by a 10-member board that includes the Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Administration and Finance, State Treasurer, two members appointed by the Treasurer and five members appointed by the Governor who are experts in the field of transportation, development, finance or infrastructure.
"The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is committed to spending our transportation funds wisely and completing projects on time and on budget," said Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey. "This one-year bond bill is an honest reflection of what we can afford and funds ongoing and necessary work."
The FY13 Bond Bill builds on the Patrick-Murray Administration's legacy of record investments in transportation infrastructure through the Statewide Road and Bridge Program and the $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program, the largest statewide infrastructure investment program in state history that is successfully replacing or repairing the state's bridges, reducing the number of structurally deficient bridges by almost 20 percent since the program began in 2008.