Governor Deval Patrick today signed H. 4371, "An Act Financing Improvements to the Commonwealth's Transportation System," maintaining funding for transportation infrastructure projects across the Commonwealth. The bill authorizes a total investment of $1.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2013, including $885 million in state funds that leverage federal funds for state road, bridge, rail and regional transit projects, and continues funding for the final year of the five-year Transportation Bond Bill Governor Patrick signed in 2008.
"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," said Governor Patrick. "This is how we are strengthening our state's economy and quality of life for the long term."
"By investing in transportation infrastructure projects, we are supporting local and regional economies across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "This transportation funding builds upon our Administration's commitment to investing in our roads, bridges and rail to strengthen our communities and foster economic development opportunities."
In addition to the five-year Transportation Bond Bill, the Patrick-Murray Administration has made significant infrastructure investments through the 2008 Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP), the largest statewide infrastructure investment program ever. ABP has already reduced the number of structurally-deficient bridges by nearly 20 percent.
Last month, Governor Patrick signed the Chapter 90 funding bill to provide cities and towns with $200 million in state funds for local road and bridge projects for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2012.
"The Patrick-Murray Administration working with the legislature has literally doubled our state's investment in transportation infrastructure since 2007, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation remains committed to spending these funds strategically to maintain our roads, bridges, rail and trails," said Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey.
"This Transportation Bond Bill will both address many important projects currently underway and identify much needed projects throughout the Commonwealth," said Senator Thomas M. McGee, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. "While the passage of this bill is a big step in the right direction, we must continue to find ways to deal with the state's long-term transportation infrastructure needs. Transportation investment will not only keep our roads and bridges safe and reliable, but will also create jobs and promote economic activity."
"I am honored to have played a role in this bill's passage and to help ensure that many cities and towns throughout the state will be able to receive funding for transportation projects in addition to their Chapter 90 appropriations," said Representative William Straus, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. "In addition, the reforms that are included as part of the bill will bring new efficiency to how MassDOT and its Board function."
The Transportation bill signed today also includes Greenway Conservancy Board changes. The Board is now subject to the state opening meetings law and is reconstituted with 21 members, including members chosen from nominees selected by the board from a list of names provided by the Governor, local elected officials, the Mayor of Boston, Secretaries of Transportation and Energy and Environmental Affairs, and local neighborhood associations.