The Honorable Michael J. Finn, House Chair
The Honorable Edward J. Kennedy, Senate Chair
Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets
State House, Boston

Delivered electronically

Dear Chair Finn, Chair Kennedy, and Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On behalf of all cities and towns across the Commonwealth, I write today to express support for H. 4488, An Act Financing Improvements to Municipal Roads and Bridges. We appreciate the opportunity to offer input on this essential legislation.

To start, cities and towns are deeply grateful for the direct investments in municipal roads and bridges made by the Legislature through the fiscal 2024 budget and last year’s transportation bond bill. Together, these noteworthy investments are helping to offset the significant reduction in purchasing power that communities continue to face. We strongly encourage the Committee to build on these recent investments with the legislation before you today as well as through the fiscal 2025 budget process.

Simply put, the resources needed to ensure that local roads and bridges are maintained in a state of good repair significantly outweigh the resources available to our cities and towns. Since 2012, when the Chapter 90 program was first increased to $200 million, we calculate a decrease in purchasing power of more than 65%. Meanwhile, data from the MMA’s most recent biennial Chapter 90 Survey estimates that cities and towns needed approximately $715 million for fiscal 2024 alone. This is why the legislation before you is so critical for municipalities and the Commonwealth.

We greatly appreciate that H. 4488 provides important reauthorization to maintain the bonded funding for the Chapter 90 program. Across the Commonwealth, the Chapter 90 program is a lifeline for cities and towns to ensure that our 30,000 miles of municipal roads and bridges are safe, resilient and accessible. The Chapter 90 program enables communities to improve vital infrastructure, which leads to improved quality of life, ensures public safety, and stimulates economic development.

H. 4488 also re-capitalizes several transportation-related grant programs that have proven beneficial to many cities and towns across Massachusetts. These programs have provided significant targeted funding opportunities within the broad scope of municipal transportation infrastructure. We appreciate the Joint Committee on Transportation’s addition of these investments in the municipal pavement program for state-numbered routes, the Small Bridge program, Complete Streets, the municipal bus enhancement program, the mass transit access program, as well as assistance for the purchase of electric vehicles or building of EV infrastructure. The continuance of these programs is an important piece of the funding puzzle needed to keep our transportation networks in a state of good repair.

Further, we applaud the Joint Committee’s addition of another $25 million authorization for the Rural Roads program. All cities and towns face considerable restrictions on generating local revenues, but many rural communities face unique challenges in maintaining the level of local roads in their care. Another $25 million investment will help alleviate some of this burden in rural communities.

We greatly appreciate the urgency by the Governor and the Legislature to move swiftly on this legislation. The road and bridge construction season is fast approaching, so we respectfully urge you to expedite timely passage of this essential legislation for cities and towns.

If you have any questions or desire further information, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA Legislative Analyst Adrienne Núñez at at any time. Many thanks for your thoughtful attention to this important legislation and for your ongoing support for municipalities across the Commonwealth.


Adam Chapdelaine
MMA Executive Director and CEO