The Senate today passed a transportation bond bill that includes $200 million for the Chapter 90 local road and bridge program for fiscal 2025, as well as $175 million for specified additional infrastructure programs.

The bill passed by the Senate includes the same authorizations passed by the House on April 3. Each chamber now needs to enact the bill, a step expected soon.

In addition to funding for the Chapter 90 reimbursement program, the $375 million bond bill includes $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 to distribute $100 million through the Chapter 90 formula and $24 million solely for rural communities. The fiscal 2025 state budget bill released yesterday by the House’s budget committee for consideration over the next couple weeks would use $25 million in Fair Share revenue for supplemental local roads funding.

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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