Massachusetts Highway Experts: Expedited Chapter 90 Funding Critical to begin Road Improvement and Repair Projects following Harsh Winter
BOSTON -- Ayer is slated to receive more than $427,000 in Chapter 90 aid to fund vital road improvement and repair projects throughout the city this year.
The Massachusetts Highway Association today urged the timely allocation of these Chapter 90 funds, which are currently included as part of Governor Deval Patrick's proposed $1 billion transportation budget. This larger budget could be debated throughout the summer - calling into question the timing of many necessary road repairs and maintenance projects throughout the state.
"It is imperative that cities and towns across the state get these highway funds in time to sign contracts, put men and women to work and pave these roads," said Mike Valenti, Massachusetts Highway Association President. "We missed most of the warm weather last year because the funding did not come in time to sign contracts, and that means many of our roads are badly in need of work. We've had a rough winter, and putting off this work will lead to more dangerous roads and more expensive repairs in the future."
The Governor is calling for $300 million in Chapter 90 funding for the Commonwealth, which could mean as much as $427,044 for Ayer. The timely allocation of Chapter 90 funds not only ensures existing road improvement plans continue on schedule, but can also save communities money in the long-term by preventing worsening damage to roadways.
"While the entire transportation initiative is important for the Commonwealth, Chapter 90 funds are unique because of weather constraints and the time and work that goes into organizing road crews," said David Knowlton, first vice president of the Mass Highway Association. "Last year, Chapter 90 funding was delayed until the end of the summer and we lost 60 percent of the season. We have a long list of road projects we are waiting to get started on in Ayer and around the Commonwealth."
Highway departments across the state are advocating that projects relying on Chapter 90 funding should begin as soon as possible - particularly due to the extensive amount of roadwork that has been put on hold following years of underfunding and delays in funding allocation.