Massachusetts is set to receive between $ 7 billion and $ 10 billion of the $ 1.3 trillion in federal infrastructure spending this week, and Gov. Charlie Baker expects the Bay Staters to see their first impacts this spring. .
“Our goal will be to have it on the streets – to have some of it on the streets – by the spring construction season,” Baker said of the schedule.
Although the administration would not share current plans for the first funds, Baker said at a press conference on Tuesday that “we will be able to make very large and critical investments in Commonwealth infrastructure over the next few years. next five or six years. ”Billions coming from Bay State.
“This is necessary federal legislation, states will be able to do a lot of good things with it, many of which are overdue,” Baker said of the bill, which President Biden signed into law on Monday.
According to a White House fact sheet, Massachusetts investments will be allocated as follows:
- $ 4.2 billion for highway improvements
- $ 1.1 billion to replace bridges
- $ 2.5 billion to improve public transportation
- $ 1.1 billion for drinking water
- $ 63 million to develop the state’s electric vehicle charging network
- $ 100 million or more for broadband, including building access for 137,000 residents who do not have it
- $ 244 million for airport improvements
- $ 5.8 million to protect against forest fires
- $ 15.7 million to protect against cyber attacks
Baker clarified that his office is still in the process of determining exactly how much will be available for the Commonwealth, as around 40% of the funds are to be offered, he said. He estimated that Massachusetts is on the verge of receiving $ 7 billion to $ 8 billion of the total, which is lower than the estimate of $ 9 billion by MP Lori Trahan’s office.
These funds, which are formula-derived and typically require state matching, will cover “everything from broadband and water to roads, rail, bridges and mass transit,” Baker said.
Formula funds must be spent in designated categories. While Massachusetts lawmakers don’t have to bid on these competitive funds, “obviously we’re going to be pretty aggressive about it,” he said.
The Herald previously reported that 472 of the state’s 5,229 bridges were considered “structurally deficient” this year, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration. Massachusetts is the fourth worst in the country when it comes to maintaining its bridges. According to the report, 4,843 bridges are in need of repairs at a collective cost of $ 15.4 billion.