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Representative Soter Supported $375M Municipal Transportation Bond Authorization Bill Includes $1,779,833.25 in Chapter 90 funding for the 8th Worcester District

State Representative Michael J. Soter (R-Bellingham) recently supported a municipal road and bridge bill that authorizes $375 million in state bond appropriations to help cities and towns maintain their local transportation infrastructure. 

House Bill 4013, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, includes $200 million in Chapter 90 roadway money and an additional $150 million for six transportation-related state grant programs municipalities can access for funding assistance. The bill also contains $25 million in municipal road construction funding to assist rural communities, specifically those with a population of less than 10,000 and a population density under 500 people per square mile. 

House Bill 4013 represents a compromise reached by a six-member Conference Committee that worked to resolve the differences between prior versions of the bill approved by the House and Senate earlier this year. The bill was enacted in both branches on July 27 and was signed by Governor Maura Healey on August 3rd, 2023.. 

Representative Soter said House Bill 4013 will provide $1,779,833.25 in Chapter 90 funding for the 8th Worcester District for Fiscal Year 2024. The following is a town by town breakdown: 

BELLINGHAM: $540,725.68 

BLACKSTONE: $229,521.45 

MEDWAY: $394,897.21 

MILLVILLE: $107,486.51 

UXBRIDGE: $507,202.40 

Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program allocates funding annually to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns on a reimbursable basis, using a formula that takes into account the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%) and employment (20.83%). 

Representative Soter noted that Chapter 90 money can be used for a variety of purposes, including road resurfacing, sidewalk repairs, traffic signalization, crosswalks, and street lighting. Other eligible construction projects include structural work on bridges, culverts, footbridges and pedestrian bridges, and retaining walls. 

Communities can also use Chapter 90 funding for the purchase or long-term lease of certain road-building equipment specifically related to a Chapter 90 project, such as backhoes, catch basin cleaners, concrete mixers, excavators and pavers. 

In addition to the $200 million in Chapter 90 funding and the $25 million set aside to assist rural communities, House Bill 4013 also authorizes a total of $150 million in additional grant program funding, with $25 million apiece provided for: 

• The construction, repair, and improvement of pavement and surface conditions on non-federally funded roadways; 

• The Municipal Small Bridge program, which supports the design, engineering, construction, preservation, reconstruction and repair of, or improvements to, non-federally aided bridges; 

• The Complete Streets program, which provides technical assistance and construction funding to eligible municipalities seeking to provide safe and accessible travel mode options for people of all ages and abilities; 

• Bus-focused mass transit initiatives; 

• Accessibility improvements at mass transit and commuter rail stations; and 

• Facilitating municipalities’ and regional transit authorities’ transition to electric and zero emission vehicles. 

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