Lawmakers last week conducted a second public hearing on Massachusetts’ transportation financing woes and Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to consolidate existing authorities.

Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen testified before the Joint Committee on Transportation on Tuesday to reiterate the fiscal challenges at the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. Patrick will file legislation in January that would fold its western portion into the Department of Highways and incorporate the Metropolitan Highway System, which runs throughout the greater Boston area and includes the Big Dig, into the Massachusetts Port Authority. MassPike would then dissolve within two years under the plan.

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