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Bill Allows MassDOT to Distribute $200M to Local Projects

The measure authorizes the state Department of Transportation to distribute $200 million in “Chapter 90” funds to local governments for road-related construction projects.

Thu May 25, 2017 - Northeast Edition #11
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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker recently signed into law a measure authorizing the state Department of Transportation to distribute $200 million in “Chapter 90” funds to local governments for road-related construction projects.

The May 4 announcement said the program reimburses municipalities for project costs and comes from general obligation bond issuances.

Included in the $290 million bill is $60 million to fund the Registry of Motor Vehicles' software platform and $30 million to reauthorize the state's Mobility Assistance Program.

Said Baker: “State support to repair local roads and improve safety is critical for the people, businesses and first responders of Massachusetts. We also are pleased this legislation includes funding to continue the state's mobility assistance program for the disabled and elderly, as well as overhaul the registry's software system to improve operations and customer service.”

The announcement said Chapter 90 reimburses cities and towns for costs incurred for eligible transportation projects. The municipalities must submit receipts to their MassDOT Highway Division district office, which verifies that the expenditures qualify. Those districts in turn submit the receipts to MassDOT's fiscal department, which facilitates the reimbursements.

It said Chapter 90 funds must be allocated to roadway projects such as resurfacing and related work like preliminary engineering including consultant design agreements, right-of-way acquisition, shoulders, side road approaches, landscaping and tree planting, roadside drainage, structures including bridges, sidewalks, traffic control and service facilities, street lighting (non-operating costs) and such other purposes as MassDOT may specifically authorize.

“This funding underscores our administration's commitment to work in close collaboration with municipal partners and support their economic development and infrastructure priorities,” said Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack. “We can continue to improve the quality of life in our communities and use transportation infrastructure as a tool to achieve economic goals if we continue to provide capital dollars to cities and towns and allow municipal officials to be empowered to improve their own infrastructure.”

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