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BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker this week signed a bill approving $350 million through the Chapter 90 program for municipal and state transportation infrastructure projects, including funding for local communities on the North Shore.
“In addition to investing $200 million to ensure the safety of our roads and bridges, I’m proud that this legislation invests $150 million across the Commonwealth in creating a more affordable and environmentally-sustainable transportation system,” said state Sen. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn). “This legislation will fund projects like dedicated bus lanes and other critical improvements to public transit that will help create a more affordable, reliable and equitable transportation system.”
Of the approved funding, $200 million will go to cities and towns for projects to maintain, improve and repair roadways, bridges, sidewalks and bikeways. Locally, Lynn will receive $1,495,100, Lynnfield will receive $406,241, Marblehead will receive $451,912, Nahant will receive $90,765, Saugus will receive $638,779 and Swampscott will receive $294,285, .
“Chapter 90 money is so important to all our towns and cities,” said state Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus). “It pays for maintenance on small bridges, roads and streets that are not covered by the state. Without Chapter 90, a lot of towns and cities would not be able to afford the maintenance in their budget.”
In addition, the bill provides funding for statewide projects, allocating $25 million to each of six programs. The Municipal Small Bridge Program supports replacement or preservation of structurally-deficient local bridges that are not eligible for existing federal aid programs and the Local Bottleneck Program addresses localized traffic bottlenecks to improve traffic flow and reduce idling and emissions.
The other areas of investment are electric-vehicle infrastructure, transit-supportive infrastructure such as dedicated bus lanes and bus and train stations, bus prioritization and enhancement projects and enhancements to transit and commuter rail stations.
“As we get back on the road, on the bus and on the train emerging from the worst impacts of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that our infrastructure be up to the task,” said state Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead). “Coming from coastal communities where storms cause ongoing damage to our roads, I’m proud to share that this bill includes more than $2 million in direct Chapter 90 funds for our district, as well as statewide dollars to reduce bottlenecks, support electric vehicles, upgrade bus stops and lanes and more.”
The bill also includes language clarifying that transportation infrastructure projects are an allowable use of American Rescue Plan Act funds, consistent with U.S. Treasury guidelines.
“It is crucial for our communities to have access to safe and reliable public transportation, especially now that more and more people are hitting the roads and returning to work,” said state Rep. Peter Capano (D-Lynn).