The Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation hopes to spend $5.2 billion over 10 years on roads and bridges, including $1.17 billion on an accelerated bridge program.
MassDOT released its plan on Jan. 14, stating the need for $1.02 billion in average annual new revenue to operate and expand. MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey says the plan involves eliminating bad practices in operating deficits in the highway and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operations.
"We paid for almost $250 million in highway operations off the state credit card—that would end [under the plan]," he says. The plan would also "solve the [authority's] debt for the long term, then provide funding for the regional transit authorities to make service improvements over the next decade and beyond."
According to MassDOT, it is exploring all-electronic tolling, a fully integrated asset-management system, stronger performance-based measures, MBTA retirement changes and partnerships with the Massachusetts Port Authority.
Based on public feedback it gathered over the past year, the agency will consider an increase in the gas tax, payroll tax, sales tax or income tax; a new "green fee" on vehicle registrations; a vehicle-miles-traveled tax; regular and modest fare, fee and toll increases; and new tolling mechanisms.
Construction priorities for the next decade include $1.25 billion for multimodal highways, $930 million for regional priority projects and $1 billion to assist 351 cities and towns with local roads and bridges. MassDOT plans a sequel to its "93 Fast 14" program, which replaced 14 bridges in just 10 weekends in 2011 through a $98.1-million design-build contract (ENR 11/14/11 p. 17)
The plan also calls for $3.8 billion in transit. Projects include $1.8 billion for completion of the South Coast Rail Line, $674 million to extend the Green Line and $850 million to expand Boston's South Station. MassDOT is considering a future high-speed-rail connection to New York City via Springfield.