Cities and towns push for more state funding for local road repairs

The Massachusetts Municipal Association argues that $200 million isn't nearly enough

BOSTON (WWLP) – Pothole season is around the corner. The legislature’s Transportation Committee heard testimony on Governor Charlie Baker’s bill to deliver $200 million to help cities and towns pay for local road repairs. State Highway Administrator Tom Tinlin said this funding is critical to ensure that drivers are safe on the road.

Tinlin said, “We realize the importance of giving communities the tools that they need to put that money to work to see real improvements through their infrastructure.”

The Massachusetts Municipal Association argues that $200 million isn’t nearly enough to maintain the roughly 30,000 miles of roads that’s covered under the so-called “Chapter 90” program.

The association’s Executive Director told state lawmakers, “We urgently and respectfully ask that the legislation be expanded to be a multi-year, $300-million-dollar a year program and that’s for three reasons.”

Beckwith said the additional funding will allow cities and towns to bring their roads to a state of good repair. He added that communities can better plan their projects if they know exactly how much money is coming in each year, saving taxpayer’s money in the long run.

State lawmakers have until April 1 to get a final transportation bill to Governor Baker’s desk, but it may take longer.