Posted by Jeffrey Mullan, MassDOT Secretary & Chief Executive Officer
Last week, I wrote that I would devote the next few weekly messages to a conversation about the Commonwealth’s transportation system. The key point from last week’s message is that transportation reform is here to stay, and that our focus on efficiencies, savings and continual improvement is how we must do things both now and in the future.
This week's point concerns a potential decrease in Federal funds available for transportation in the future. Most of you know that the reauthorization of Federal transportation funding has expired and that a debate on a new law is underway. You may also know that the Highway Trust Fund, which was designed to provide all of our Federal highway aid and much of our Federal transit funding, has not had enough money in it to support all of the Federal aid that has been authorized by law for several years. To make up the difference, Congress has authorized the use of general fund revenues. Based on the current debate, it now seems likely, but not certain, that this subsidy will end. Based on the best information available, if that happens, we are projecting that we would lose $135 million annually in Federal highway funds and $57 million in Federal transit funds.
We will continue to push for the best outcome possible, but also need to be realistic about the challenges faced by the Congress that we read and hear about every day. If we are not successful in maintaining funding, we will have fewer resources available and will fall further behind. Regardless of how it turns out, 2011 looks to be a watershed year for transportation policy and investment at the Federal level.
Worcester: Belmont Street Bridge Opens posted on Mar 23
MassDOT has announced that the Belmont Street Bridge that carries Route 9 over Interstate 290 in Worcester is now open to its permanent configuration. The bridge now features two eastbound lanes toward Shrewsbury, two westbound lanes toward Lincoln Square and a newly-added, left-turn lane through …Continue Reading Worcester: Belmont Street Bridge Opens
Highway Assistance Patrol Program: MAPFRE Sponsorship Extension posted on Mar 23
MassDOT is pleased to announce an agreement to extend MAPFRE Insurance’s sponsorship of the Highway Assistance Patrol program (HAP) through March 2018. This extension marks the 15th year of partnership between MassDOT and MAPFRE in providing excellent customer service and safe, quick clearance on the …Continue Reading Highway Assistance Patrol Program: MAPFRE Sponsorship Extension
South Coast Rail: Notice of Project Change posted on Mar 22
The Baker-Polito Administration’s Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has filed a Notice of Project Change (NPC) for the South Coast Rail (SCR) Project with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office on March 15, 2017. The Notice advances South Coast Rail as a phased project that …Continue Reading South Coast Rail: Notice of Project Change