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.
MBTA: Next Phase of Red Line Winter Resiliency Improvements Approved posted on Jul 25
The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) today unanimously approved the awarding of a $18.5 million construction contract for the next phase of Red Line Winter Resiliency improvements announced by the Baker-Polito Administration last year, amounting to $30.4 million total for infrastructure upgrades in …Continue Reading MBTA: Next Phase of Red Line Winter Resiliency Improvements Approved
Methuen Rotary: New I-93 Northbound Ramp Opens July 30 posted on Jul 25
MassDOT’s Methuen Rotary Interchange Reconstruction Project reaches a major milestone on Saturday, July 30, when the first new ramp of the reconstructed interchange opens to traffic. The new I-93 northbound on-ramp is located approximately 400 feet east of the current ramp. A new signal will …Continue Reading Methuen Rotary: New I-93 Northbound Ramp Opens July 30
Longfellow Bridge: Next Stage of Construction to Begin in August posted on Jul 22
MassDOT’s contractor is scheduled to begin the next stage of construction on the Longfellow Bridge in August 2016 now that the MBTA Red Line trains have been moved to their new locations. In this stage, bridge rehabilitation work will occur under the MBTA outbound track. …Continue Reading Longfellow Bridge: Next Stage of Construction to Begin in August