(Opinion by Kim Corwin)
"Another step forward in rebuilding our dilapidated infrastructure occurred on Thursday, April 7th when the Senate passed the $200 million Municipals Road Bill, formerly known as Chapter 90. These funds will be distributed to all Massachusetts cities and towns based on road mile, population and employment to improve local roads and bridges.
Although it is forward movement, the bill falls short of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s request of $640 million.
Over the past several years The United States has under-invested in infrastructure rebuilding and we continue to lag. The American Society for Civil Engineers gave the U.S. infrastructure a D+ in its annual report card saying we need to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020 to upgrade our infrastructure to acceptable levels. There is a broad consensus that infrastructure investment is a significant job-creator and in essence is self-funding. For every $1.00 of Federal Investment the return is $1.80 - $2.00 in real goods and services produced. For every 3 construction jobs created, 5 more are created in other sectors of the economy.
We must continue to push our state and our nation’s government to approve long term infrastructure spending!"
~ Kimberly J. Corwin, President & CEO, A.H. Harris and Sons, Inc.
More context about the passing of the Municipal Roads Funding Bill, courtesy of CIM (Construction Industries of Massachusetts, Inc.):
On Thursday April 7, the Senate passed the $200 million in Municipal Road “Chapter 90” funding (HB 4133). This leaves enactment in the House & Senate as the final steps before the bill is placed before the Governor for his signature. The Senate Bonding, Capital Assets and State Expenditures Committee, chaired by Senator John Keenan, held a hearing on the bill this past Monday, rules were suspended in the Senate (a procedural thing) and the bill was on the Senate floor for engrossment Thursday. The remainder of the original bill, which includes $50 million for the new Small Bridge Program and the $750 million in authorization for Federal Aid funding, is still pending on the House side. Those funding provisions are included in a bill (HB 4057) which remains before the House Committee on Bonding.