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Charlton Small Bridge Program Lt Governor, July 31, 2019Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver and local officials today to highlight the recently completed project to rehabilitate the bridge that carries Potter Village Road over Stearns Brook in Charlton which received $500,000 in funding through the Administration’s Municipal Small Bridge Program. To date, the Administration has awarded funding for 93 Municipal Small Bridge Program projects totaling approximately $43 million.

The bridge in Charlton is approximately seventeen feet long and was closed to traffic in March 2016 due to its condition. The Town of Charlton received an award to rehabilitate this bridge through the first round of the Municipal Small Bridge Program, announced in March 2017. Following the rehabilitation project, the bridge was re-opened to traffic in June 2019.

“Since taking office, our administration has prioritized collaborating with local cities and towns to strengthen our transportation system, and we have included $70 million for the Municipal Small Bridge Program in our recently filed Transportation Bond Bill to continue this work,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “We are pleased to support the rehabilitation work on the Potter Village Road bridge through the Municipal Small Bridge Program which has improved its safety and allowed it to be re-opened for travel, eliminating the need for residents, commuters, and first responders to utilize a detour route.”

“This project highlights the importance of the Municipal Small Bridge Program, as it has provided the Town of Charlton the ability to reopen this critical bridge.” said Highway Administrator Gulliver. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to partner with communities across the Commonwealth to provide cities and towns with the resources and engineering needed to carry out projects that preserve and improve these locally owned pieces of infrastructure.”

The Municipal Small Bridge Program, signed into law on August 10, 2016, by Governor Baker, is a several-year $50 million program to aid in the replacement and preservation of municipally-owned small bridges between ten and twenty feet in length which are not eligible for federal aid under existing bridge replacement or rehabilitation programs and are at high risk for full or partial closure in the near future due to their present conditions.

The Municipal Small Bridge program is a need and merit-based program that seeks to fund those applications that demonstrate a critical need or substantially extend the life of an existing small bridge.  Projects are evaluated according to a strict set of eligibility criteria that consider the condition, benefits, and repair status of each bridge.

Governor Baker recently filed a transportation bond bill seeking $18 billion in additional capital authorization to invest in building and modernizing a transportation system that meets the needs of residents, businesses and cities and towns statewide. The authorization would be used to fund existing programs as well as several new initiatives designed to lessen impacts from roadway congestion and ensure reliable travel throughout the Commonwealth. This bill also includes an additional $70 million for the Municipal Small Bridge Program to assist cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.

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