State plans would cut spending on highways

The state has come up with a new plan that would cut spending on highways across Massachusetts

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state has come up with a new plan that would cut spending on highways across Massachusetts. They would decrease the amount of money they spend on fixing highways by about 25% over the next 5 years.

The plan would emphasize repair work for roads and bridges, rather than highways. The Construction Industries of Massachusetts says more state bridges are becoming structurally deficient.

“Anywhere you go across the valley the roads are all broken up, the bridges are even worse,” said Larry Longley of Colrain. “They’ve been neglected for years so they are way overdue to get repaired.”

The Town of Greenfield receives about $630,000 a year for repair work. Director to Greenfield’s DPW, Donald Ouelette, told 22News this has not been enough for all their projects. “We have Chapter 90 money which is funds we get from the state every year,” said Ouelette. “That money is great but it’s really not enough to do all the work that needs to be done in the town of Greenfield.”

Ouellette said they’ve had to delay projects on several roads until they get more money. This plan is not expected to impact the gas tax. He said Greenfield already has one of the highest tax rates in the commonwealth.

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