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.
Governor Patrick Signs “Boston Strong” License Plate Bill posted on Apr 18
Governor Deval Patrick today signed legislation creating a Massachusetts “Boston Strong” license plate. The legislation directs the Registry of Motor Vehicles to establish a license plate memorializing the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings adorned with the phrase “Boston Strong.” All proceeds from sales of …Continue Reading Governor Patrick Signs “Boston Strong” License Plate Bill
Whittier Bridge I-95 Update: River Boaters Notice posted on Apr 18
The Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project continues through the 2014 boating season. Much of the work this season to construct the new northbound span of the Whittier Bridge is taking place from the Merrimack River to the immediate east of the existing bridge. Several large barges, …Continue Reading Whittier Bridge I-95 Update: River Boaters Notice
Route 79/Braga Bridge Project Public Meeting Set posted on Apr 17
Please join MassDOT at a public meeting for an update on construction progress on the Route 79/Braga Bridge Improvements Project, as follows: Wednesday, April 30, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Heritage State Park Auditorium, 200 Davol Street, Fall River The meeting will include an opportunity …Continue Reading Route 79/Braga Bridge Project Public Meeting Set