Gov. Charlie Baker Signs $16 Billion Transportation Bond Bill
BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and acting MassDOT Secretary of Transportation Jamey Tesler joined legislators, municipal leaders, and other stakeholders Wednesday in a virtual ceremonial signing of the $16 billion transportation bond bill. This legislation was signed into law on Jan. 15 and authorizes funding across all modes of transportation to support and facilitate the ongoing continual efforts of MassDOT and the MBTA to invest in and modernize the Commonwealth’s transportation system.
“The transportation bond bill builds upon our administration’s ongoing commitment to create a 21st-century mobility infrastructure that will prepare the Commonwealth to capitalize on emerging changes in transportation technology and behavior,” Baker said. “MassDOT and the MBTA have continued to implement widespread improvements throughout the transportation system, and this new bond authorization will further support capital investment planning to rebuild, modernize, and expand the capacity of the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure.”
The legislation includes nearly $5.1 billion to continue modernizing the MBTA, $100 million to improve the pavement condition on state-numbered municipal roads, and $50 million to ensure municipalities have resources needed to continue efforts to build Complete Streets infrastructure to encourage the public to travel more on foot and by bicycle. The bill also includes $70 million for the Municipal Small Bridge Program and expands the use of designated bus lanes and transit signal priority through two new grant programs. Additionally, the bill authorizes the MBTA to use well-established procurement methods such as job-order contracting for smaller projects.
“The Transportation Bond Bill supports our efforts to rebuild, modernize, and expand the capacity of the Commonwealth’s transportation system,” Tesler said. “We are grateful to the members of the Legislature and the advocates who worked so hard to get this bill approved.”
Highlights of the Transportation Bond Bill are as follows:
• $4.4 billion to fund highway federal aid projects;
• $3 billion for transit-system modernization investments (MBTA);
• $1.25 billion in non-federal aid for use as funding in highway projects that are not eligible for federal funding;
• $1.25 billion for the new Next Generation Bridge Program;
• $70 million for the popular Municipal Small Bridge Program;
• $50 million for the popular Complete Streets Program;
• $20 million for ‘public realm’ COVID-related Shared Streets and Spaces Program;
• $100 million for a new municipal pavement program for pavement projects on locally owned but state-numbered roads;
• $100 million in four new programs to provide financial assistance for municipalities seeking to improve infrastructure, such as bus lanes or bus-signal prioritization projects, and connectivity;
• $350 million for the Cape Cod bridges approaches project;
• $825 million for South Coast rail;
• $595 million for Green Line extension;
• $89 million for the Aeronautics Division;
• $760 million to support the regional transit authorities and rail and transit’s Mobility Assistance Program and rail improvements; and
• Construction-zone speed limits allowing the posting of speed limits in construction zones and doubling speeding fines for violations.