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Mike on Transportation
As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I have worked to secure funding for a number of important transportation projects. Some of these include the Green Line Extension (GLX), the North Washington Street Bridge, the East Boston Haul Road, Melnea Cass Boulevard, the Chelsea Street Bridge, the Longfellow Bridge and Rutherford Avenue. Federal funding for projects like these is critical to maintaining our infrastructure, which helps increase productivity. States and municipalities cannot fund such projects on their own, so it is important that the federal government contribute sufficient resources.
In September of 2014, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) made its nearly $1 billion pledge to the GLX official when it formally signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Commonwealth. This is a milestone that I have been working toward for years and confirms the federal governmentís commitment to funding its share of this long awaited transit extension.
In 2014 we celebrated the first new MBTA station in three decades when the Assembly Square Orange Line Station opened to passengers. During one of Congressí transportation reauthorization debates over a decade ago, I worked to secure federal funding for this expansion and am pleased that work is now complete.
2014 also brought news that the Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded the MBTA with a $20 million TIGER grant to revitalize Bostonís Ruggles Station. The DOT received $9.5 billion in grant applications, which was more than 15 times the amount of federal money available for this round of TIGER grants.
In May of 2014, we celebrated a $310 million federal authorization for the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Boston Harbor. This work will deepen the harborís navigation channels so that it can accommodate newer, larger ships. The economic benefit of completing this dredging is significant, creating jobs and stimulating additional activity.
In recent transportation funding debates, Massachusetts has fared well. In 2012, the last time that highway and transit programs were authorized for funding, Massachusetts received $1.9 billion. In terms of federal dollars, Massachusetts was one of only three states and the District of Columbia to see an increase in total annual funding. The last reauthorization also contained my legislation establishing a nationwide tunnel inspection program modeled after the bridge inspection program.
I will continue fighting to increase access to public transportation by continuing to advocate for the Green Line Extension, making improvements to the Fairmont Line, and making progress on the Urban Ring. An enhanced public transportation system will give residents greater options, increase access to employment opportunities and help protect the environment.
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