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.
All Electronic Tolling Information, Public Meeting posted on Oct 19
The new All Electronic Tolling program on I-90 and the Boston tunnels will “go live” on Friday night, October 28th. A final Toll Plaza Demolition Public Meeting is set for tonight: • Wednesday, October 19th – Brighton WGBH – Yawkey Theater, One Guest Street Plaza …Continue Reading All Electronic Tolling Information, Public Meeting
Route 79/Braga Bridge Project Milestone: All Lanes Open to Traffic posted on Oct 17
MassDOT announced that the Route 79/Braga Bridge Improvements Project has reached significant completion with the official opening of all three lanes of Interstate 195 westbound on the Braga Bridge. The barrier was removed and all three lanes opened to traffic as of Friday, October 14. …Continue Reading Route 79/Braga Bridge Project Milestone: All Lanes Open to Traffic
Needham-Wellesley I-95 Add-A-Lane: Route 9 Traffic Advisory posted on Oct 13
MassDOT offers a reminder about the upcoming traffic shift as part of the Needham-Wellesley I-95 Add-A-Lane Project. From 8:00PM on Friday, October 14th through the weekend of October 28th through 30th, there will be a shared exit lane for Route 9 Eastbound and Route 9 …Continue Reading Needham-Wellesley I-95 Add-A-Lane: Route 9 Traffic Advisory