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Mass. Senate Passes Transportation Bond Bill, Local Projects Benefit

BOSTON (AP/WGGB) — The Massachusetts Senate has passed a nearly $1.4 billion transportation bond bill to fund infrastructure projects throughout the state.

State senators unanimously approved their version of the bond bill Tuesday afternoon. A conference committee must now reconcile the differences between the Senate’s bill and the House of Representatives’ approved bill before the legislative session ends July 31.

The Senate’s bill authorizes the state to borrow $683 million and includes federal funding for transportation projects that total $1.39 billion.

State Senator James Welch, a West Springfield Democrat, is pleased to announce that he has added several local project authorizations to the Transportation Bond Bill that was approved in the Senate today.

They include $7 million for the reconstruction and safety Improvements to Riverside Road, Plainfield Street, Fisk Avenue, Birnie Avenue and West Street in Springfield, $4 million for design and construction of the Springfield Union Station Intermodal Project in Springfield, and $500,000 for safety and signalization improvements at the Elm St. and Westfield St. intersection in West Springfield.

Welch says, “I am pleased to help bring back resources to Western Massachusetts.  These projects are important to our communities and economy because they will improve our transportation system and infrastructure while providing jobs to Western Massachusetts residents.”

Sen. Thomas McGee, a Lynn Democrat and chair of the legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee, said the bill will be part of a larger discussion regarding future infrastructure improvements in Massachusetts. He also praised the Senate’s proposal for its ability to create more jobs in the state through construction projects.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)