(State House News Service) --In the aftermath of a severe winter, Gov. Charlie Baker has set up a new fund dedicating $30 million to help cities and towns fill potholes that have destroyed roadways.
"Since day one, we promised to partner with our cities and towns to provide them with the support needed to keep local infrastructure in reliable shape," Baker said in a statement. "After an unprecedented winter of heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures, this additional support will allow municipalities to patch up potholes and address local repairs as needed."
As municipal officials stop shoveling out from historic snowfalls, they are now assessing the damage to roadways left by the severe winter weather.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito told municipal officials Tuesday that the administration was devising a plan to help them with fix pothole riddled roadways.
"This winter's record-setting snowfall has left our cities and towns with a major maintenance deficit that needs to be addressed immediately," Polito said in a statement on Thursday. "This program provides municipalities with additional resources to accelerate those repairs and make our roadways safer for everyone."
Dubbed the "Winter Recovery Assistance Program," Baker is using money allocated in the existing fiscal 2015 bond authorization for the Department of Transportation. The funds will be distributed to cities and towns based on the formula used for Chapter 90 road and bridge repair funding, which determines funding based on population, employment, and total mileage of roads, according to the Baker administration.
Under the pothole plan, cities and towns can seek reimbursement from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for patching potholes, paving cracks, resurfacing road defects, and replacing damaged signs, guardrails, storm drains and line striping.
Cities and towns must complete the work by June 30, 2015, and submit reimbursement requests to MassDOT by July 31, 2015.
Baker has also filed legislation seeking $200 million for local road and bridge work through the Chapter 90 program for spring and fall construction on top of the $100 million in already authorized spending he released in January. The Transportation Committee has scheduled a hearing on the bill (H 3187) Friday with a vote planned immediately after testimony as lawmakers work to finalize the funding for the April 1 start of the construction season.