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Gov. Healey set to sign $375M transportation bill

Sign in Springfield reads road work ahead.
Elizabeth Román
Sign in Springfield reads road work ahead.

Gov. Maura Healey plans to sign into law a $375 million road and bridge maintenance funding bill.

Healey's office confirmed on Wednesday that she is planning events in Lowell and Amesbury on Friday to pen her signature on a bulked-up version of the annual Chapter 90 legislation, which cities and towns rely on to secure state reimbursement for important local infrastructure projects.

The Legislature shipped Healey a compromise bill last week, nearly four months after the House and Senate approved different versions of the underlying measure, with $200 million for the Chapter 90 program plus another $175 million in transportation-related infrastructure grants.

House and Senate Democrats for months could not agree on whether to steer $25 million of those grants toward a municipal pavement program or to a new supplemental municipal road formula program. They wound up including both programs and bumping up the bill's bottom line by $25 million.

Healey originally proposed a two-year, $400 million bond authorization that would fund Chapter 90 at the same $200 million annual level where it has sat for years.

The governor gets 10 days to review any legislation sent to her before she must act. She's also in the process of parsing a $56.2 billion state budget for fiscal year 2024, which lawmakers packed with a wide range of policy riders and approved Monday.

Construction Industries of Massachusetts Executive Director John Pourbaix called the funding in the bill "desperately needed by municipalities, as local roadways account for 78% of lane miles in the commonwealth, and the cost to maintain and repair these roadways continues to increase."

Pourbaix said local bridges are in poor condition and need to be maintained, repaired, or replaced.

"Without this critical funding, municipalities would not be able to address these capital projects in a timely fashion," he said.

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