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Massachusetts Governor Files $9.7B Infrastructure Bond Bill

WORCESTER, MA — Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) General Manager Steve Poftak recently joined with municipal leaders in Worcester at an event to announce the Baker-Polito Administration’s filing of “An Act Relative to Massachusetts’s Transportation Resources and Climate” (MassTRAC), a $9.7-billion infrastructure bond bill. This bill will advance and support significant investments in the Commonwealth’s transportation and environmental infrastructure, as well as provide critical and required state matching funds to compete for, unlock, and leverage federal formula and discretionary investments provided by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) enacted in November 2021.

“This infrastructure bill will support the investment of $9.7 billion in the Commonwealth’s roads, bridges, railways, transit agencies, and environmental infrastructure,” Baker said. “Building upon the BIL, this legislation will make a meaningful difference in the acceleration of projects that are set to receive federal funding, and we look forward to working with the members of the Legislature to pass this bill.”

The legislation includes $6.2 billion to support core federal formula programs for highway, transit, and environmental projects. The funding authorized under BIL provides the Commonwealth with an opportunity to increase investments in roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure, with a focus on climate change mitigation, resiliency, equity, and safety for all users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians.

This bill will facilitate the ongoing efforts of MassDOT and the MBTA to invest in and modernize the Commonwealth’s transportation system, and includes $3.5 billion in potential state matching resources to support the aggressive pursuit of new and existing federal discretionary and competitive grant programs available under the BIL.

“This bond bill supports our efforts to rebuild, modernize, and expand the capacity of the Commonwealth’s transportation system and aggressively pursue and compete for discretionary grant funding to advance major projects,” Tesler said. “On behalf of the Baker-Polito Administration, I would like to express appreciation to the members of the Legislature and advocates for their support of our efforts to advance infrastructure investments.”

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Provisions of this bill would enable MassDOT and the MBTA to use certain project procurement and delivery tools that could speed the implementation of BIL funded projects, as well as regular project delivery. MassDOT and the MBTA would be authorized to pilot the A + B procurement method to allow the time to complete a project to be considered in bid evaluation and award. Additionally, Private Development Mitigation/Transit Oriented Development authorization would allow MassDOT and the MBTA to enter into development agreements that include transportation and other public benefits without having to separately bid for those elements.

This bill includes additional authorization for existing appropriations for the federal aid and non-federal aid programs to allow MassDOT and the MBTA to continue and accelerate work, taking advantage of the historic increase in annual federal apportionments over the next five years, while also providing the authorization needed to pursue new federal competitive and discretionary grants and support new investments in clean transportation and the environment.

The bond bill also provides additional authorization to support investments in cities and towns to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety, improve municipal transportation asset conditions, and invigorate downtown community public spaces through several grant programs. Some of these programs include the Complete Streets Funding Program, Municipal Small Bridge, Municipal Pavement, and Shared Streets and Spaces Program.

Out of the $9.7-billion MassTRAC bill, $3.55 billion will support pursuit of federal discretionary and competitive grant program funding and $6.2 billion will support core programs for Highway, Transit, and Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). The $6.2 billion for Highway, Transit, and EEA will include:

$2.8 billion in authorization related to the increased federal formula funding in BIL:

  • $2.5 billion for Highway federal aid and non-federal aid BIL support
  • $27.1 million for the MassDOT Aeronautics Division to support and leverage increased Federal Aviation Administration grants to public use airports
  • $64.9 million to support increased federal funding for Regional Transit Authorities
  • $145 million for state match funds required for the increased federal funding for the MBTA
  • $200 million to support EEA’s Clean Transportation program
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$3.3 billion to support the MassDOT and MBTA capital programs through 2026:

  • $1.79 billion (federal aid and non-federal aid) for MassDOT Aeronautics, Highway, Rail & Transit, and Office of Transportation Planning to support the capital program through 2026
  • $150.8 million in new federal aid authorization for Highway to utilize the funding provided under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act
  • $85 million in authorization to improve the condition of non-interstate pavement on the National Highway System
  • $55 million in additional authorization to support investments in cities and towns to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety, improve municipal transportation asset conditions, and invigorate downtown community public spaces through several grant programs: Complete Streets, Small Municipal Bridge, Municipal Pavement, and Shared Streets and Spaces
  • $400 million for the MBTA to continue to invest in the modernization of its infrastructure and vehicles
  • $830 million to support the purchase of a new fleet MBTA Green Line cars that are more energy efficient

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