Gov. Patrick unveils $12b building plan with limited money for mass transit
The five-year plan covers new college classrooms, laboratories, roads, bridges, and other construction projects. A ton of money goes to roads and bridges. Just $20 million is reserved for mass transit projects, among them the Green Line extensions.
Download the Capital Budget Plan (PDF)
Boston Globe: “$12b aimed at education, transportation”
Excerpt from the Capital Budget Plan…
Approximately $20 million to begin addressing the aforementioned SIP commitments, including $11.2 million for the Fairmount Commuter Rail project, $4.7 million for the Green Line extension, and $2 million each for the Red Line-Blue Line connector study and the new parking spaces initiative.
Excerpt from the Boston Globe article…
Transportation projects would receive the most money under the plan — $5.72 billion over five years — including $1.12 billion in fiscal 2008, a 24 percent increase over fiscal 2007. About $613 million would be spent on roads and bridges in fiscal 2008, a 15 percent increase over the previous year.
Bridges owned by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation would receive $14 million in the first year, enough to provide temporary repairs to the Storrow Drive Tunnel and the Longfellow Bridge. Both are facing much more serious work over the next several years, however. Officials have said the Storrow tunnel, which is crumbling and leaking, might cost between $50 million and $130 million to fix, and the Longfellow Bridge, which was built 100 years ago and has a similar design to the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis, might need $200 million in repairs.
The project to build a commuter rail line into New Bedford, which carries an estimated $1.4 billion price tag, would receive $17 million over three years, enough to launch the initial planning and permitting phase of the project. Many more environmental and construction permits would be needed before the rail line is built.
The plan also provides $20 million for a raft of mass transit projects that the public was promised to compensate for the inconvenience and pollution caused by the construction of the Big Dig. These include improvements to the Fairmount commuter rail line, which runs from South Station through Dorchester and Hyde Park to the Readville section of Boston, as well as the extension of the Green Line from Cambridge into Somerville and Medford. The money would also fund a study to examine connecting the Blue Line to the Red Line and the building of 1,000 new parking spaces at train stations.