An additional $194 million included for priority projects
April 03, 2004
Congressman Mike Capuano announced that today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3550: "The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users". This $275 billion six-year surface transportation bill funds road and transit projects across the country. It contains $3.38 billion in funding over six years for Massachusetts' highways and $1.42 billion over six years for transit projects. These amounts represent an increase of $625 million or 14.8% over the previous legislation.
"Despite the fact that many members of Congress have lingering concerns over the cost overruns associated with the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, and despite the fact that the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation is entirely Democratic in a Republican House, we were able to secure record funding for the CommonwealthÕs transportation infrastructure," stated Congressman Capuano, who is a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Based on calculations by the Department of Transportation, the legislation will create 38,000 jobs per year in Massachusetts and generate an additional $4.96 billion in economic activity annually for the state.
"Since Massachusetts has lost so many jobs in the last two years, this legislation comes at a critical time. Not only will this money translate into significant improvements to our highway and transit infrastructure, it will help our working families and regional economy by creating jobs," stated Congressman Capuano. An additional $194 million has been set aside for a number of specifically identified projects across Massachusetts. Some of the projects in the 8th district are:
The legislation contains authorizing language for the following transit projects: the Silver Line Phase Three (final design and construction), the Urban Ring, the Blue Line extension, the North-South Rail Link and the Fitchburg commuter rail. This language makes the projects eligible for future federal funding.
"This legislation is an important step forward in meeting the CommonwealthÕs transportation needs. It means billions of dollars in improvements to our roads, bridges and transit infrastructure," stated Congressman Capuano.
The legislation also designates the northbound and southbound tunnel of Interstate 93 the Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. Tunnel, in recognition of the late SpeakerÕs significant contribution to the construction of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project.
"It is only fitting that the Congress pays tribute to Speaker OÕNeill with this designation. Tip OÕNeill worked tirelessly to secure support and substantial federal funding for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project," stated Congressman Capuano.
The legislation now moves to a Conference Committee, where it will be reconciled with the Senate passed bill.
Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208
--For additional information on H.R. 3550, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:h.r.03550:/ and read a Boston Globe editorial at http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2004/04/02/getting_there/