MassDOT board approves $14.8 billion, 5-year plan for infrastructure projects

Updated Jun 23, 2016
Photo Credit: Flickr user J. Stephen ConnPhoto Credit: Flickr user J. Stephen Conn

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board has approved its fiscal year 2017-2021 Capital Investment Plan (CIP) that will provide $14.8 billion for roads, bridges and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) projects.

Officials report this plan is the first time MassDOT and MBTA have collaborated on a plan for improving the state’s infrastructure. Another first MassDOT reached with the program is an evaluation system used to select projects based on priorities “to assure capital dollars are funding beneficial and cost-effective projects.”

The agency received 1,725 comments on proposed plans from the public and held 15 public meetings and 16 Capital Conversations to which 900 attended.

“These important investments are one of many steps the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and MBTA are taking to improve the dependability of our core transit system and provide riders with a more reliable and efficient service,” says Gov. Charlie Baker. “These capital dollars will allow for much-needed upgrades at the T (MBTA), including signals, track and switches, as well as our roads, bridges and other infrastructure.”

The majority, roughly 59 percent, of the funding is planned for ways to improve the “reliability in the core transportation systems.” Eighteen-percent is designated for existing infrastructure updates to match growth, improve accessibility and meet new safety standards.

“The final Capital Investment Plan represents a transformative, strategic investment plan to restore reliability to the Commonwealth’s transportation systems, modernize infrastructure and expansion,” says MassDOT Secretary & CEO Stephanie Pollack. “ I would like to thank all of the MassDOT staff and MBTA staff that worked for months to create this plan, as well as individuals who participated in public meetings and issued their feedback on the plan. Your comments were invaluable to the creation of this Capital Investment Plan.”

The Chapter 90 program for roadway repair and maintenance will receive a total of $1 billion, $200 million per year, from the program for municipality projects, and non-interstate paving programs will receive an 80-percent boost to $476 million for the same time period.

The MBTA will receive $4 billion for infrastructure repair and rehabilitation, with $1 billion set aside for signals and power improvements and $1.6 billion for new buses for train cards for the Red, Orange and Green Lines. The Green Line also will receive $1.1 billion for an extension project.