BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester) have secured a total of $1.425 million in targeted funding for North Reading as part of an $11.3 billion transportation infrastructure bond bill that contains funding for hundreds of local, state and regional projects across Massachusetts.
House Bill 5151, “An Act relative to Massachusetts’ transportation resources and climate,” also known as the MassTRAC bill, was enacted in the House and Senate on July 31 and is now on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk for his review. The bill builds on legislation originally filed by Gov. Baker on March 17 to take advantage of the funding opportunities contained in the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) signed last November.
Local earmarks for North Reading secured by the Town’s legislative delegation include:
- $500,000 for safety improvements at the intersection of Chestnut and Haverhill streets, a project that was approved for funding at the June 6 Town Meeting and is expected to proceed to the design stage this winter and be sent out to bid for construction in the spring;
- $200,000 for safety improvements at the intersection of Chestnut and Park Streets;
- $220,000 for safety improvements at the intersection of Central and North Streets; and
- $500,000 for road rehabilitation and reconstruction
Rep. Jones and Sen. Tarr noted that the four earmarks for North Reading represent preliminary approval for these projects and indicated that there is currently no firm timeline for when this funding will be released to the town. Because these projects would be supported through bond appropriations rather than cash, they must still be worked under the state’s annual borrowing cap and will take some time to come to fruition.
“While this is only the start of what will likely be a lengthy, multi-year approval process, the inclusion of these projects in the MassTRAC bill helps to highlight some of North Reading’s most critical transportation infrastructure needs,” said Rep. Jones. “I will continue to work closely with Senator Tarr to advocate on the town’s behalf and do everything we can to ensure that these projects can move forward with state funding assistance as expeditiously as possible.”
“While local transportation infrastructure is critical for our economy, public safety, and quality of life, its cost can put it out of reach for municipal budgets like North Reading’s,” said Sen. Tarr. “Fortunately Representative Jones and I have been able to provide the prospect of state assistance for four important priorities by including them in this bond authorization.”
Gov. Baker had until Wednesday, August 10 (after press time) to sign the MassTRAC bill into law.