A bond bill that calls for using the state’s CARES act funding to finance infrastructure improvements was recently approved by the Massachusetts Senate.
$10.4 billion was approved to be used to modernize the state’s public transportation system, fix deteriorating water and wastewater infrastructures, repair roads and bridges, construct more affordable housing, and launch sustainable energy initiatives.
As reported by Roads and Bridges, the key provisions of the bill are:
A key provision of the bill includes $400 million for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) to fix major safety problems identified in a federal investigation.
The bill includes diverting $250 million to help pay for a western Massachusetts rail extension, if that project moves forward.
A bipartisan group of senators also added a provision to the bill calling for spending $28 million on a pilot program to offer new ferry service between ports in Gloucester, Salem, Lynn, and other coastal communities to Boston’s waterfront docks.
An amendment sponsored by Sen. Joan Lovely will divert $6 million to several North Shore communities including money for a pilot program to connect downtown Peabody with the Salem commuter rail station, make roadway upgrades in Beverly, and expand the Danvers’ rail trail.
The new federal law also makes Massachusetts eligible to apply for about $2.5 billion in competitive grants for local governments to fix potholes and bridges, upgrade water and sewer systems, and take care of other infrastructure needs.