Neal sees $1.1 billion in new federal bridge aid

  • U.S. Rep. Richard Neal GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

State House News Service
Published: 1/18/2022 11:22:57 PM
Modified: 1/18/2022 11:21:53 PM

As voters weigh a new wealth tax to fund education and transportation initiatives, Massachusetts is poised to receive $1.1 billion in new federal bridge repair funding over the next five years.

Congressman Richard Neal offered the funding estimate Tuesday, crediting the work of Congress and President Joe Biden to pass a landmark infrastructure funding law. The funds will be allocated under a Federal Highway Administration formula and can be used to address 472 bridges listed in poor condition in Massachusetts.

States normally must match federal funding with up to 20% state or local funding, but guidance issued last week signals that federal funds can be used for 100% of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating “locally owned off-system bridges,” according to Neal’s office.

Neal joined Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno Tuesday to make the announcement at an Armory Street site in that city where planners hope to replace two bridges.

Supporters of a constitutional amendment adding a 4% surtax on household income above $1 million a year say it will make the wealthy pay their “fair share” and raise funds to address education and transportation deficiencies. Opponents say state government is already awash in billions of dollars in surplus revenues, the tax will drive away some wealthy taxpayers, and warn that lawmakers can deploy work-arounds to ensure that not all of the new revenue is invested in education and transportation.


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