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Hundreds of Communities in Massachusetts to Benefit From $375M in Infrastructure Funds

Mon May 13, 2024 - Northeast Edition #11
Office of Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey


At a May 3 event in Melrose, Mass., Gov. Maura Healey signed legislation authorizing $200 million for Fiscal Year 2025 to fund bridge and road maintenance as well as other infrastructure projects in all 351 municipalities across the state under its Chapter 90 program.

In addition, the bill will fund a total of $175 million more for six transportation infrastructure grant programs.

Implemented by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Chapter 90 program provides cities and towns with an annual funding source for improvements to and investments in local transportation networks.

Every municipality in the state is allocated a portion of total program dollars, which allows them to evaluate their unique transportation needs and goals and allocate funding dollars accordingly, according to the Healy administration.

The funding also helps cities and towns compete for new and historic levels of federal grant opportunities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Proof of available matching funds is generally required as a condition of applying for a federal award, and showing the availability of dedicated funds for this purpose dramatically strengthens applications to any such federal program.

Healy was joined at the signing by Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew Gorzkowicz, and Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt.

"We know that residents' quality of life and our state's economic strength depends on people being able to get where they need to go safely and on time," Healy said as she signed the legislation. "These Chapter 90 funds and millions more for six grant programs will help us deliver critical road, bridge and infrastructure projects that communities and the traveling public need. We're proud to sign this bill into law today and grateful to the Legislature for their partnership."

Driscoll, who served as mayor of Salem until last year, added, "As a former mayor, I know how much this money means to our cities and towns. In particular, Chapter 90 apportionments go a long way in making sure our transportation system is safe and reliable for people who live, work, and visit our communities."

The funding will facilitate longstanding and newly identified projects and improvements, such as bridge repairs and reconstruction, in addition to roadway, bike path, sidewalk and curbing construction, accessibility improvements, milling and paving, and lighting and traffic signal improvements.

Tibbits-Nutt noted that MassDOT is pleased to administer the Chapter 90 program "because we have seen the on-the-ground impact the funding can have in our cities and towns."

Grant Initiatives Also Will Fund Transportation Needs

In addition to the $200 million total in Chapter 90 funding, the state's Rural Roadway Funding program and six transportation infrastructure grant programs will each receive a total of $25 million.

Among them are:

  • The Municipal Pavement Program, which focuses on the improvement of municipally owned state-number routes. Projects are selected based on pavement condition data, the proportion of state numbered roadways in poor condition in a municipality, and geographic equity.
  • Municipal Small Bridge Program, a provider of financial assistance to cities and towns for small bridge replacement, preservation and rehabilitation projects. To be eligible, bridges must be on a local public way and on the Massachusetts State Bridge Inventory with a span between 10-20-ft. in length.
  • Rural Roadway Funding Program, a distributor of funds to all 351 municipalities using a formula based on local road mileage, municipal population and rurality.
  • Complete Streets Funding Program, which provides monies for municipalities to build infrastructure for "complete streets" projects that support travel for everyone whether they walk, bicycle, take public transportation or drive.
  • Municipal Bus Enhancement Program, a source of grant funding to build out infrastructure related to mass transit by bus.
  • Mass Transit Access Grant Program, which awards grants for design and construction improvements to access commuter rail stations or other mass transit stations, such as parking lots, drop-off and pick-up zones, bicycle storage infrastructure and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • Municipal/Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Electric Vehicle (EV) Grant Program, a source of grants to RTAs and municipalities for the purchase of electric vehicles and related charging equipment.

Healy applied her signature to the bill in Melrose, as Mayor Jennifer Grigoraitis looked on, because the city has been using Chapter 90 funding to support several road improvement projects along its Main Street. The updated construction work in the community just north of Boston will include new concrete sidewalks, granite upgrades, and a replacement of the existing asphalt sidewalk.

Melrose is due to receive more than $520,000 in funding for these projects, according to Healy's office.

"Chapter 90 funds give towns and cities the chance to improve the safety, function, and beauty of our local neighborhoods and local transportation infrastructure," explained Grigoraitis. "The additional Chapter 90 funding in the law signed today will make a world of difference for cities like Melrose and enable us to continue to pursue proactive and high-impact improvements to local roads and routes."




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