House of Representatives Passes $10.9 Billion Transportation and Infrastructure Bill

Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to unanimously pass a transportation and infrastructure bill authorizing $10.9 billion for projects, including $400 million for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to address ongoing safety concerns identified by the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety Management Inspection, $250 million for the East-West passenger rail project, and $50 million to improve energy efficiency in Massachusetts’ commercial fishing industry.

“The Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure is the lifeblood that keeps our communities and economy moving. From individuals and families, the self-employed, local small businesses and beyond, our infrastructure keeps Massachusetts moving forward. This bill makes investments for critical transportation projects throughout the state,” said Ferrante. “I am pleased that this bill also includes an amendment I filed to authorize $50 million for grants and no-interest loans to improve energy efficiency in our commercial fisheries, a crucial aspect of our local and state economy.”

Highlights of the bill include:

  • $2.812 billion for projects on the interstate and non-interstate federal highway system
  • $1.27 billion for non-federally aided roadway and bridge projects and for the nonparticipating portion of federally aided projects
  • $85 million for pavement and surface conditions on non-federally aided roadways
  • $25 million for pavement and surface conditions on municipal roadways
  • $20 million for grants to municipalities under the Complete Streets Funding Program
  • $25 million for grants to Transportation Management Associations
  • $82 million for rail improvements
  • $64.9 million for projects of regional transit networks and facilities
  • $1.375 billion for sustainable transit system modernization and rail improvements
  • $114.1 million for the Airport Improvement Program
  • $145 million for multi-modal transportation planning and programming
  • $10 million for a public realm improvement program
  • $3.5 billion for projects funded with discretionary federal grant funds
  • $25.5 million for the Mobility Assistance Program
  • $200 million for projects that reduce emissions such as public alternative fueling stations and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, programs promoting e-bikes and public transportation, replacement of high-emissions vehicles, electric vehicles for hire and carsharing, electric school buses, electric short-haul freight, and delivery trucks

Additionally, the bill:

  • Updates safety requirements to be met prior to excavation projects
  • Authorizes vehicles or trailers used for maintenance, construction activities in highway work zones to display flashing blue lights with a permit from the registrar
  • Requires the MBTA to provide parking alternatives to commuters when it demolishes or reconstructs parking lots or garages it owns or operates
  • Requires MassDOT, in consultation with the Comptroller, to develop and operate a publicly accessible and searchable database to report on this bill’s expenditures and any project receiving federal funding from the federal Infrastructure and Investment in Jobs Act of 2021
  • Establishes a commission to review and receive testimony concerning public entities, including those that may be created by statute in the future, with the ability to design, permit, construct, operate and maintain passenger rail service that meets the standards of the Final Alternatives in the East-West Passenger Rail Study Final Report issued by MassDOT in 2021

An Act relative to Massachusetts’s transportation resources and climate (H.4897) passed the House of Representatives 155-0. It now goes to the Senate for their consideration.