Dave RogersRogers

Cindy FriedmanFriedman

Sean Garballey, 2019Garballey

Arlington's Beacon Hill delegation reports passage of a $350 million transportation bill, which includes $784,626 of the $200 million in Chapter 90 funding for town projects for road, bridges, sidewalks and bikeways. 

On Thursday, July 15, 2021, Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) and Rep. Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge) joined those in the state Legislature in passing the measure. The bill, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, authorizes $200 million for municipal roads and bridges through the Chapter 90 program and $150 million to support statewide projects to address congestion, support electric vehicle infrastructure, prioritize bus infrastructure and improve public transit. 

“The Chapter 90 proposal advanced by the Legislature directly supports our communities as travel and commuting increases,” Friedman said in a July 20 news release. “Investing in projects that support reliable, safe, and accessible transportation infrastructure is vital to our communities’ overall well-being, both in the short- and long-term.” She thanked Senate President Spilka, Chair Rodrigues, Sen. Boncore.

Garballey said in the release: “In addition to the $200 million for necessary repairs and maintenance, it is great to see an additional $150 million spread across six grants that will provide funding for areas, such as electric-vehicle infrastructure and bus prioritization and enhancement projects.” 

Rogers added: “As we begin to return to a sense of normalcy, so many individuals across our community are beginning to return to their commutes. It is vital that we not only fund local transportation, but also projects to address congestion, support clean-vehicle infrastructure, and truly modernize public transit efficiency. This Chapter 90 funding will do just that.” 

The bill includes the following:

  • $25 million for the Municipal Small Bridge Program to support replacement or preservation of structurally deficient local bridges critical to local communities and not eligible for existing federal aid programs.
  • $25 million for the Local Bottleneck Program to address localized traffic bottlenecks and invest in infrastructure to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow, and reduce idling and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • $25 million for Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure to support municipalities and regional transit authorities in their efforts to install EV infrastructure and purchase EVs and zero-emission vehicles.
  • $25 million for Transit-Supportive Infrastructure to create dedicated bus lanes, enhance bus stops and train stations, support passenger safety, upgrade technology and modernize infrastructure to meet demand and increase frequency of public transit services, and improve access to public transit.
  • $25 million for Bus Prioritization and Enhancement Projects to support municipalities in their efforts to create bus rapid transit lanes, construct catenary wires for electric trolley buses, purchase equipment for transit signal prioritization, and make improvements at bus stations and stops.
  • $25 million for Enhancements at Transit and Commuter Rail Stations to support municipalities in their efforts to construct parking lots and structures, drop-off and pick-up zones, electric vehicle charging stations, park-and-ride locations, bicycle parking or bicycle cages, and accommodations for micro-mobility devices. 

Additionally, the bill includes language clarifying that transportation infrastructure projects are an allowable use of American Rescue Plan Act funds, consistent with U.S. Treasury guidelines.  

After House and Senate passage, the legislation went to Gov. Baker for his signature. He signed the legislation on July 16.  

July 16, 2021: How state's fiscal '22 budget affects Arlington

This news summary was published Wednesday, July 21, 2021. It was provided by Liz Berman of Friedman's office.