WEST SPRINGFIELD (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker is asking state lawmakers to borrow $200 million to repair local roads and bridges.
If Governor Baker’s proposal is approved, it could be repaired sooner than expected.
The state legislature authorized $300 million for what’s known as Chapter 90 aid last year.
But former Governor Deval Patrick withheld $100 million, saying the state couldn’t afford that.
Baker has already authorized the release of that $100 million, and is now asking for another $200 million.
Chapter 90 aid is typically passed as a one-year bond bill, and then the funds are dispersed to cities and towns for much needed road repairs. The amount each town or city gets is determined by its size, road miles and employment.
The money would be paid back over several years. Springfield usually gets less than 2% of Chapter 90 aid, which is about $5.5 million dollars.
In a statement, Governor Baker said, “Funding for transportation improvements is essential to providing reliable infrastructure, public safety, new job opportunities and a growing economy.” He also said he hopes the legislature will pass the legislation quickly.
If approved soon, the money could be available for road repairs as early as spring.