NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – City and town officials across Massachusetts are asking lawmakers for more money to repair local roads and bridges. The money is Chapter 90 funding; $200 million that Governor Charlie Baker signs-off on to help repair some local roads.
Some cities and towns want that number to increase to $300 million for fiscal year 2018. They say that $200 million is not enough to cover the increasing cost of asphalt and labor. Lawmakers are being asked to make this change by April 1.
This fiscal year, with Chapter 90 funding, 859 miles of roadway will be repaired in Hampshire County, at a cost of nearly $5 million. The Northampton DPW’s engineering department is finalizing recommendations for what roads the money should be spent on. Cyclist Sammy Sullivan of Northampton wants to see improvements in safety around the city.
“Cars cut the line by going into the bike lane, so maybe there could be something to discourage people from going into the bike lane,” Sullivan said.
For fiscal year 2017, Northampton received the most Chapter 90 funding of any Hampshire County community, at just over $1 million to repair 151 miles of road. Amherst was the second-highest, at just under $844,000. Belchertown received $630,000.