Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District


July 16, 2021

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Bill Authorizing $350 Million in Funding for Transportation Infrastructure  

BOSTON- The Massachusetts Legislature on Thursday passed a bill that will invest $350 million in municipal transportation and selected statewide transportation infrastructure projects.   

The bill, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, authorizes $200 million for municipal roads and bridges through the chapter 90 program and $150 million to support statewide projects to address congestion, support electric vehicle infrastructure, prioritize bus infrastructure, and improve public transit.  

“As travel returns to pre-COVID levels, our transportation system has a vital role to play in getting us back to better,” stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “The Chapter 90 proposal advanced by the Senate and House today authorizes $200 million for roads and bridges across our state and makes additional investments in emerging electric vehicle infrastructure which will greatly benefit the Commonwealth’s residents. Passage of this legislation is critical to maintaining a transportation system that is sustainable, reliable, accessible and climate resilient. I am grateful to Senators Rodrigues, Boncore, and Feeney as well as Speaker Mariano, Rep. Michlewitz, Rep. Straus, Gregoire and their staffs for their collaboration.”  

“Our communities rely on Chapter 90 funding to ensure that our roads and bridges remain modernized, safe and efficient,” said Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem). “I am pleased to join my colleagues in the House and Senate in enacting this critical legislation, which invests $200 million for municipal transportation infrastructure while providing an additional $150 million in competitive grant funding to support special projects to improve the future of transportation. It is imperative that we continue to support a transportation infrastructure that promotes accessibility, diminishes commute times, and provides economic-development opportunities.” 

“As we continue building back to our new better, Chapter 90 funding remains an important mechanism through which the state can directly support cities and towns in Massachusetts,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D -Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Thank you to Senate President Spilka and Senators Boncore and Feeney for their leadership, and to my colleagues in the Legislature for their urgency to direct funding to projects that will make a real difference in their communities and strengthen our local infrastructure across the Commonwealth.”   

“The members of the Senate Republican Caucus are pleased to join with our colleagues in passing Chapter 90 legislation that will provide valuable resources to our cities and towns to construct and maintain the roads and bridges all of us depend on every day. Road paving, bridge construction and repair, and similar projects are important to our economy, our safety, and our quality of life, but their costs can be a major challenge for municipal budgets,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). “The spending authorizations contained in this bill will provide the resources and support needed urgently to respond to that challenge and make those projects possible this year.”  

The bill includes the following components:   

  • $200 million in chapter 90 funding for cities and townsfor projects to maintain, improve, and repair roadways, bridges, sidewalks, and bikeways.   
  • $25 million for the Municipal Small Bridge Programto support replacement or preservation of structurally deficient local bridges critical to local communities and not eligible for existing federal aid programs.   
  • $25 million for the Local Bottleneck Programto address localized traffic bottlenecks and invest in infrastructure to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow, and reduce idling and greenhouse gas emissions.   
  • $25 million for Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure to support municipalities and regional transit authorities in their efforts to install EV infrastructure and purchase EVs and zero-emission vehicles.    
  • $25 million for Transit-Supportive Infrastructureto create dedicated bus lanes, enhance bus stops and train stations, support passenger safety, upgrade technology and modernize infrastructure to meet demand and increase frequency of public transit services, and improve access to public transit.   
  • $25 million for Bus Prioritization and Enhancement Projectsto support municipalities in their efforts to create bus rapid transit lanes, construct catenary wires for electric trolley buses, purchase equipment for transit signal prioritization, and make improvements at bus stations and stops.  
  • $25 million for Enhancements at Transit and Commuter Rail Stations to support municipalities in their efforts to construct parking lots and structures, drop-off and pick-up zones, electric vehicle charging stations, park-and-ride locations, bicycle parking or bicycle cages, and accommodations for micro-mobility devices.  

Appropriations for the 2nd Essex District include: 

  • $1,043,414 awarded to the City of Beverly  
  • $889,661 awarded to the Town Danvers 
  • $1,231,069 awarded to the City of Peabody  
  • $832,136 awarded to the City of Salem  
  • $257,260 awarded to the Town of Topsfield  

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. Having been passed by the House and Senate, the legislation now goes to Governor Baker for his signature.