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Soter Supports House Passage of Chapter 90 Bond Bill

Jun 28, 2021 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
State Representative Michael J. Soter (R-Bellingham) recently supported legislation that will provide the 8th Worcester District with $1,388,085 in road and bridge funding for Fiscal Year 2022 under the state’s Chapter 90 program.

The amount that each town received was level-funded with the amounts allocated in FY2021. The FY2022 breakdown for each town is as follows: Bellingham, $538,440;  Blackstone, $232,495; Millville, $109,030; Uxbridge, $508,120.

House Bill 3903, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, authorizes a total of $200 million in Chapter 90 spending, along with $75 million in additional transportation infrastructure funding for projects across the state. The bill was given initial approval by the House of Representatives on a unanimous roll call vote of 160-0 on June 22.

Established by the Legislature in 1973, the Chapter 90 program uses a distribution formula based on a community’s population, employment, and total road miles to allocate funding to cities and towns on an annual basis. It is a 100 percent reimbursable program that provides state funding assistance to municipalities for capital improvements such as highway construction, preservation and improvement projects, including road resurfacing and related work such as sidewalks, traffic control measures, and roadside drainage.

Representative Soter said House Bill 3903 also increases funding for three additional transportation infrastructure accounts within the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that were funded in a comprehensive transportation bond bill signed into law on January 15. This includes: 

  • a $25 million increase for the municipal small bridge program, which helps fund construction, repairs and improvements for non-federally aided bridges, bringing the total appropriation to $95 million; 
  • a $25 million increase in grants to municipalities for the prioritization and enhancement of mass transit by bus, doubling the program’s appropriation to $50 million; and 
  • a $25 million increase in grants to municipalities for local projects that increase access to mass transit and commuter rail stations, bringing the total appropriation to $50 million. 

Representative Soter commented, “I was glad to see this bill swiftly pass through the House. H.3903 contains many great measures that will help to improve the infrastructure of the Commonwealth.”

House Bill 3903 in presently up for consideration in the Senate.

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