NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The U.S. Senate met Tuesday to talk about extending federal funding for infrastructure projects. Congress has three days to make a decision. 22News found out how a lack of funding would impact projects on the state and local-levels.
On August first, the federal highway trust fund will no longer have enough money to fund infrastructure projects, which could curb road work in Massachusetts.
“Infrastructure equals jobs, it equals us being safer, it equals us having better places to drive our cars, less money to spend on repairs. I mean the list just goes on and on, so I think it’s a no-brainer,” said Zahra Caldwell of Holyoke.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation Spokesman Michael Verseckes told 22News, in a statement, “The vast majority of MassDOT’s road and bridge projects would be at risk if the Trust Fund were to go insolvent. This includes the deck replacement project for the I-91 viaduct, which is federal-aid eligible.”
The Town of Hadley DPW wouldn’t be directly affected by a possible halt in federal funding for infrastructure projects. That’s many projects are funded through state and town taxpayer money.
Hadley Town Manager, David Nixon said towns would still be indirectly impacted, though.
“The roads and bridges would deteriorate and we wouldn’t be able to get goods and services and people flowing the way that we need in order to maintain our local economy,” Nixon said.
Without congressional intervention, the highway fund would run out of money by early September. Some senators don’t agree with the House on how to get money for this fund. If Congress comes to an agreement, it might not be until the very last minute.