The Massachusetts Department of Transportation yesterday approved a $10.3 billion, five-year capital plan along with a $698 million operating budget for fiscal 2011.
The capital budget is the first long-term spending plan for infrastructure since MassDOT was created in November.
State lawmakers merged the former Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and the former Massachusetts Highway Department to create the agency, which now oversees most of the state’s surface transportation entities.
The capital plan includes $6.11 billion of commonwealth borrowing during the next five years, including an anticipated $3.91 billion of general obligation bonds and $2.2 billion of special obligation bonds, according to an operating and capital budget presentation.
Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s rate Massachusetts AA-plus and AA, respectively. Moody’s Investors Service rates it Aa1.
The state has more than $17 billion of outstanding GO debt.
Additional funds will come from federal reimbursements, including $3.42 billion of Federal Highway Administration funds and $499.6 million of Federal Transit Administration funds.
Another $285 million will come from pay-as-you-go financing.
The state’s executive office of administration and finance will weigh in on the capital plan in July or August, according to MassDOT.
The agency’s highway division receives the lion’s share of the capital plan, with $8.61 billion for roads, bridges, and tunnels during the next five years.
The rail and transit division, which oversees the state’s regional mass transit systems, is slated for more than $1 billion of support.
The aeronautics division will receive $60.2 million of funds.
Another $376.4 million will go towards MassDOT’s office of planning and programming and $200 million is designated to help finance central artery tunnel construction costs.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is within MassDOT’s umbrella, but Boston’s public transportation system crafts its own operating and capital budgets separate from the department’s spending plans.
MassDOT’s budget presentation does not compare the fiscal 2011-2015 capital spending plan to what the state and the former Massachusetts Turnpike Authority previously spent on infrastructure.
A MassDOT spokesman did not return e-mails and phone calls seeking information to provide historical context for the new long-term plan.
In an official statement for MassDOT’s $1.08 billion refinancing deal that priced in May, the department indicated that infrastructure improvements on the Metropolitan Highway System, which runs throughout the greater Boston area, will be financed through pay-as-you-go financing rather than debt issuance.
The former MassPike managed MHS prior to its merger with MassDOT.
MassDOT will use revenue from MHS, after payment of operating expenses and debt service, for deposit into a capital reinvestment fund.
The agency will also fund MHS improvements from other commonwealth financing programs that the highway system is now eligible for as a result of the enactment of the Transportation Reform Act, such as the statewide road and bridge program, according to the offering statement.
MassDOT’s $698.4 million operating budget for fiscal 2011 is 2.5% less than the current-year budget due to lower debt-service costs.
“The budget reinvests savings derived from debt restructuring and other initiatives for the assumption of fringe benefit costs, pay-go capital, and program enhancements,” according to MassDOT’s budget presentation.
The budget includes $373.2 million of toll and non-toll revenue from the Tobin Bridge and Interstate 90, which is known as the Western Turnpike.
MassDOT will receive another $325.1 million from legislative allocations, including annual funds that the commonwealth has pledged to appropriate to the department to cover MHS debt service costs.
Within the operating budget, $322 million will support operations of the highway division and another $44.2 million will help rail and transit division operations.
The aeronautics and registry divisions will receive $468,063 and $58.9 million, respectively.