Massachusetts Towns Scramble To Cover Road Repair Costs

It’s the season for road repair around the region. In Massachusetts, lawmakers and Governor Deval Patrick remain at odds over how much funding towns and cities will receive.

House and Senate lawmakers allocated $300 million in their proposed local transportation bill. But Patrick has already told local officials funding won’t go over $200 million. That’s not enough, says Chris Bouchard, the highway superintendent for the town of Beckett, Mass.

“To do one mile of road, you’re looking at almost $718,000,” Bouchard says.

Bouchard says the town has already deferred road repairs from last year.

“So you know a small town that gets $200,000 a year, you have to save up four years just to do a mile of road,” he says. “We’re just putting a band-aid on a bad bleed.”

Local road repair is just part of a much larger transportation financing bill still in dispute. It also covers multiple years of bridge repairs and rail improvements statewide.

NEPR’s Jill Kaufman and Michelle Woodward and the State House News Service contributed to this report.