Democratic leaders in the Massachusetts legislature and House Republicans both answered Governor Deval Patrick’s 2014 transportation budget with plans of their own, but the governor is warning that a plan too small would hurt low and middle income families .
On Tuesday, top Democrats in the Massachusetts legislature including Senate President Therese Murray, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and chairs of the House and Senate Ways and Means committees released a transportation plan to rival investments called for in Governor Patrick’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal.
A recently launched grassroots campaign advocating for improved public transportation in the Berkshires is now online, and some are hoping that it will catch on in communities across Massachusetts.
The Wish I Had Transit campaign was recently launched by volunteers in the Northern Berkshires, in less than two weeks since the idea of using social media to demonstrate the need for improved public transportation was discussed at a community forum in North Adams.
Massachusetts’ Secretary of Transportation visited the Berkshires on Thursday to pitch the governor’s transportation budget, and to discuss the newly filed transportation bond bill with local legislators and heads of town governments.
Construction work begins this month in two Hudson Valley counties to prepare for a new bypass tunnel. New York City Department of Environmental Protection officials say site-preparation work will soon begin for the Rondout-West Branch Bypass Tunnel, a roughly $1 billion project that will repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct. DEP contractors will begin working at sites in Newburgh, in Orange County; and in Wappinger, in Dutchess County, where shafts will be built to allow for the construction of the 2.5-mile bypass tunnel. Last year, DEP purchased several properties off Route 9W in the Town of Newburgh, just north of Pine Road, where it will build one of the shafts. The shaft construction site in the Town of Wappinger, off River Road North, will be built on property already owned by DEP. The site work and bypass construction will be done through a project labor agreement with the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council. The agreement is expected to create roughly 160 jobs.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation issued a much anticipated plan Monday to improve public transportation, expand passenger rail and fix crumbling highways and bridges. But, exactly how to pay for it all is left for another day.
The plan calls for spending an additional $13 billion on transportation in Massachusetts during the next ten years. Governor Deval Patrick endorsed the plan as” clear-eyed, non-partisan and fact based.” He said the plan would keep the current transportation system operating and pay for what he called “modest strategic expansions”
As the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is developing its plan to replace a bridge over a vital freight rail corridor in Pittsfield, members of the public are being asked for their opinions. WAMC’s Berkshire bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…
Massachusetts is facing huge budget deficits in its highway and mass transit systems. The Patrick administration is likely to call early next year for higher taxes and tolls. The state, meanwhile, is putting millions of dollars more into a major transportation project in western Massachusetts. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
Work has begun on a project that officials say will bring high speed passenger train service to the most heavily populated cities of western Massachusetts. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.