Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak recently announced the filing of “An Act Relative to Massachusetts’s Transportation Resources and Climate,” (MassTRAC) a $9.7 billion infrastructure bond bill. This bill will advance and support significant investments in the Commonwealth’s transportation and environmental infrastructure, as well as provide critical and required state matching funds to compete for, unlock and leverage federal formula and discretionary investments provided by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) enacted in November 2021.
“This infrastructure bill will support the investment of $9.7 billion in the Commonwealth’s roads, bridges, railways, transit agencies and environmental infrastructure,” said Baker. “Building upon the BIL, this legislation will make a meaningful difference in the acceleration of projects that are set to receive federal funding and we look forward to working with the members of the Legislature to pass this bill.”
“Our Administration continues to work closely with our statewide municipal partners to help identify ways in which they can make further improvements to their transportation infrastructure,” said Polito. “This legislation includes additional authorization to support investments in cities and towns to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety and invigorate our downtown community public spaces through several grant programs.”
The legislation includes $6.2 billion to support core federal formula programs for highway, transit, and environmental projects. The funding authorized under BIL provides the Commonwealth with an opportunity to increase investments in roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure, with a focus on climate change mitigation, resiliency, equity, and safety for all users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians.
This bill will facilitate the ongoing efforts of MassDOT and the MBTA to invest in and modernize the Commonwealth’s transportation system, and includes $3.5 billion in potential state matching resources to support the aggressive pursuit of new and existing federal discretionary and competitive grant programs available under the BIL.
“This $9.7 billion bond bill will enable the Commonwealth to take full advantage of the opportunities made available through the federal infrastructure legislation and continue critical support for core transportation and environmental infrastructure work,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan. “Authorizing these investments will pave the way for historic economic growth that will benefit residents across Massachusetts, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to pass this bill into law.”
“This bond bill supports our efforts to rebuild, modernize, and expand the capacity of the Commonwealth’s transportation system and aggressively pursue and compete for discretionary grant funding to advance major projects,” said Tesler. “On behalf of the Baker-Polito Administration, I would like to express appreciation to the members of the Legislature and advocates for their support of our efforts to advance infrastructure investments.”
“Governor Baker’s $9.7 billion Infrastructure Bond Bill will dedicate once in a lifetime funding for important transportation and environmental projects that will directly benefit the Commonwealth today and well into the future,” said Theoharides. “Importantly, this funding will enable the Commonwealth to make significant investments in zero emission vehicle programs and infrastructure, which will further the Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to decarbonizing the state’s transportation system.”
Provisions of this bill would enable MassDOT and the MBTA to use certain project procurement and delivery tools that could speed the implementation of BIL funded projects, as well as regular project delivery. MassDOT and the MBTA would be authorized to pilot the A + B procurement method to allow the time to complete a project to be considered in bid evaluation and award. Additionally, Private Development Mitigation/Transit Oriented Development authorization would allow MassDOT and the MBTA to enter into development agreements that include transportation and other public benefits without having to separately bid for those elements.
“The funding in the Infrastructure Bond Bill will allow the MBTA to fully harness opportunities in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, both with the match for Federal Formula funds and to help us take advantage of future discretionary funding opportunities,” said Poftak. “Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration, our MassDOT colleagues, local elected leaders, and transit advocates for continuing to work to upgrade and modernize the MBTA.”
This bill includes additional authorization for existing appropriations for the federal aid and non-federal aid programs to allow MassDOT and the MBTA to continue and accelerate work, taking advantage of the historic increase in annual federal apportionments over the next five years, while also providing the authorization needed to pursue new federal competitive and discretionary grants and support new investments in clean transportation and the environment. These significant investments, empowered by both reauthorized and increased federal funding within the BIL, will be transformational for the Commonwealth.
The bond bill also provides additional authorization to support investments in cities and towns to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety, improve municipal transportation asset conditions, and invigorate downtown community public spaces through several successful grant programs. Some of these programs include the Complete Streets Funding Program, Municipal Small Bridge, Municipal Pavement and Shared Streets and Spaces Program.
Highlights of the $9.7 billion MassTRAC bill include:
- $6.2 billion to support core programs for Highway, Transit, and Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
- $2.8 billion in authorization related to the increased federal formula funding in BIL
- $2.5 billion for Highway federal aid and non-federal aid BIL support
- $27.1 million for the MassDOT Aeronautics Division to support and leverage increased Federal Aviation Administration grants to public use airports
- $64.9 million to support increased federal funding for Regional Transit Authorities
- $145 million for state match funds required for the increased federal funding for the MBTA
- $200 million to support EEA’s Clean Transportation program
- $3.3 billion to support the MassDOT and MBTA capital programs through 2026
- $1.79 billion (federal aid and non-federal aid) for MassDOT Aeronautics, Highway, Rail & Transit, and Office of Transportation Planning to support our capital program through 2026
- $150.8 million in new federal aid authorization for Highway to utilize the funding provided under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA)
- $85 million authorization to improve the condition of our non-interstate pavement on the National Highway System
- $55 million in additional authorization to support investments in our cities and towns to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety, improve municipal transportation asset conditions, and invigorate our downtown community public spaces through several successful grant programs: Complete Streets, Small Municipal Bridge, Municipal Pavement, and Shared Streets and Spaces
- $400 million for the MBTA to continue to invest in the modernization of its infrastructure and vehicles
- $830 million to support the purchase of a new fleet MBTA Green Line cars that are more energy efficient
- $3.55 billion to support pursuit of federal discretionary and competitive grant program funding