This week the Massachusetts Senate passed a transportation bond bill designed to fund a slew of long-term , major transportation projects but time is running out before it can be approved by the Governor. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…
The bill titled An Act Financing Improvements to the Commonwealth’s Transportation System was approved by the Senate this week to provide nearly 1.4 billion in state and federal aid to infrastructure projects across Massachusetts.
State Senator Benjamin Downing of Pittsfield said that the bill comes outside of the Governor’s transportation budget proposal released earlier this year, as well as the allotted Chapter 90 aid to Cities and Towns.
Downing continues that there were disagreements in the legislative conference committee on which bill to move forward….
In the bill, Senator Downing secured three authorizations for projects in Berkshire County, including $2 million to rebuild the Woodlawn Avenue Railroad bridge in the William Stanley Business Park in Pittsfield, $750,000 for the restoration of Washington Mountain Road in Dalton, Becket, and Washington, and $1.6 million for the reconstruction of Black Brook Road in Savoy.
Black Brook Road was damaged heavily by Tropical Storm Irene last year. Former Savoy Select Board Chair Scott Koczela said the road, which was washed out in 9 separate locations, is unusuable and creates a major inconvenience for town residents.
In that area, Black Brook Road serves as Savoy’s outlet to Route 2, a primary artery for Western Massachusetts travelers.
Because of the washout, Koczela said that emergency vehicles in the neighboring town of Florida can actually respond faster to some residents in Savoy, than the town’s own responders.
Senator Downing says the funding will assist Savoy in reconstructing the road to something more substantial than the 1940’s construction standards.
Legislators have until Tuesday, July 31st to send a final version to Governor.