PRESS RELEASE

$5.1 Billion in Federal Transportation Funding Coming to Massachusetts


March 11, 2005

Congressman Mike Capuano announced that the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3: "The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users". This $284 billion six-year surface transportation bill funds road and transit projects across the country. It contains $3.74 billion in funding over six years for Massachusetts' highways and $1.37 billion over six years for transit projects for a total of $5.1 billion. The funding in H.R. 3 represents an increase of approximately $1 billion or 23% over the last transportation reauthorization bill.

"Despite the fact that many members of Congress have renewed concerns over the cost overruns associated with the Central Artery/Tunnel Project as well as concerns over the ongoing problems associated with leaks, we were able to secure record funding for the Commonwealth's transportation infrastructure," stated Congressman Capuano, who is a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The legislation will also create at least 40,000 jobs per year in Massachusetts, 7,500 of which are new employment opportunities.

"This money will translate into significant improvements to our highway and transit infrastructure. It will also benefit our working families and regional economy by creating jobs," stated Congressman Capuano.

$224.25 million of the state's overall funding allocation has been set aside for a number of specifically identified projects across Massachusetts. Some of the projects in the 8th district are:

"These are just some Massachusetts projects that will benefit from this legislation, including bridges in need of reconstruction and roads in need of repair. This money could already be available if President Bush had recognized the critical infrastructure needs that exist in this country. Instead he threatened to veto any bill higher than $256 billion – a number that most members of both sides of the aisle thought was too low to address the transportation needs that we have. As a result, the bill never made it out of conference because Republican leaders did not want to send the President a bill he would veto. This year, the President has stated that he supports a $284 billion bill – the funding level of the House bill. Let's hope the President's change of heart means quick action this year," stated Congressman Capuano.

The legislation contains authorizing language for the following transit projects: the Green Line extension to Medford, the Silver Line Phase Three (final design and construction), the Urban Ring, the Blue Line extension and the North-South Rail Link. Authorizing language makes these projects eligible for future federal funding.

"This legislation is an important step forward in meeting the Commonwealth's transportation needs. It means billions of dollars in improvements to our roads, bridges and transit infrastructure," stated Congressman Capuano.

The legislation is now ready for a Conference Committee, which will be convened once the Senate passes a transportation reauthorization bill. The Senate is expected to take up its transportation bill in the spring.

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Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208