The House on April 3 passed its version of a transportation bond bill that includes funding for the Chapter 90 local road and bridge program for fiscal 2025.

The Senate is currently scheduled to take up the bill this week.

The $375 million bond bill passed by the House (H. 4529) would provide the necessary authorization for a $200 million allocation for the Chapter 90 program, $25 million for a supplemental road maintenance program favoring rural communities, and $150 million for the following six existing transportation-related programs:
Municipal Pavement Program
Municipal Small Bridge Program
Complete Streets
• Municipal Bus Enhancement Program
• Mass Transit Access grant program
• Municipal/RTA Electric Vehicle Fleets program

The bill introduces a formula to guide the disbursement of the rural road-focused funding for fiscal 2025, recommending that the distribution be weighted 20% on local road mileage, 20% on population, and 60% on whether the municipality is considered rural.

In her fiscal 2025 state budget plan, Gov. Maura Healey proposed additional funding to support local road and bridge maintenance, using $124 million in “Fair Share” surtax revenue. Of this amount, $100 million would supplement Chapter 90 using the program’s formula, and $24 million would use the rural roads formula.

Last year’s transportation bond act created the new rural roads supplemental funding program, but it has yet to be apportioned. The law tasked the Massachusetts Department of Transportation with creating a formula that would prioritize communities with populations of less than 10,000 and population densities of fewer than 500 people per square mile.

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