Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed a transportation bond bill that will provide $1.5 billion in state and federal funds for infrastructure projects.
It includes $885 million in state funds that leverage federal funds for state road, bridge, rail and regional transit projects, and continues funding for the final year of the five-year bond bill Patrick signed in 2008.
The bill is separate from the state’s accelerated bridge program, a five-year plan that began in 2008, designed to reduce the number of structurally deficient bridges by nearly 20%.
Massachusetts’ latest five-year capital plan calls for about $489 million of additional borrowing for that program.
“Our transportation infrastructure had suffered from years of neglect, so this administration started rebuilding roads, rails and bridges in every corner of our state and creating thousands of jobs,” Patrick said in a statement on Friday.
The Senate passed the bill on July 24, one week before the end of the legislative session.
Patrick last month signed the Chapter 90 funding bill to provide cities and towns with $200 million in state funds for local road and bridge projects for the fiscal year that began on July 1.
The transportation bond bill also calls for changes to the Greenway Conservancy Board. The board is now subject to the state open meetings law and is restructured with 21 members. Members are chosen from a list provided by the governor, local elected officials, the mayor of Boston, secretaries of transportation and energy and environmental affairs, and local neighborhood associations.
Moody’s Investors Service rates the state’s general obligation bonds Aa1, while Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s assign AA-plus.