Wednesday July 4, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Berkshire road and bridge projects are getting a major infusion of state funding through an $8 million commitment to be divided among all 32 communities countywide.

The announcement was made by Gov. Deval Patrick, who met with Eagle reporters and editors on Tuesday afternoon.

Pittsfield stands to gain nearly $1.4 million from the release of funds from the transportation bond bill approved by state lawmakers last week. North Adams is in line for $452,000, and the remaining 30 towns are getting a piece of the pie based on a formula involving road mileage, population and employment.

The funding is available not only for road and bridge improvements but also for projects such as rail trails and bike paths.

"I’m proud of the fact that we’ve expanded the Chapter 90 [local aid] program since I’ve been in office," said Patrick. "My only disappointment is that the Legislature didn’t act on this sooner because the construction season is relatively short in Massachusetts Š but I know the money will be well spent."

Patrick said the funding is separate from other local infrastructure projects that the state is supporting. His administration has doubled spending on road and bridge projects and also created a $3 billion program dedicated specifically to bridge reconstruction and renovation.

He described it as the largest statewide infrastructure investment program ever undertaken.


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To reach Clarence Fanto:
cfanto@berkshireeagle.com
or (413) 496-6247.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto.