Small Bottlenecks Program Brings Roadway Funds to Westhampton
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is rolling out its new Small Bottlenecks Program. It is designed to provide funding to cities and towns for smaller roadway projects that are not eligible for other kinds of funding. New England Public Radio's Adam Frenier reports.
The Small Bottlenecks Program targets roadway projects which cost between half a million and a million dollars and do not qualify for federal funding. In the first year of the initiative, four projects totaling more than four million dollars will be paid for by the state. In Westhampton, 1-point-2 million dollars will cover the widening of a narrow bridge on a main road. [South Road]. Brian Mulveyhill is a Selectman in Westhampton. He says the town has worked for over a decade to secure funding to modify the span.
"I've been on the board 9 years and it pre-dates me. A few years back, we completed the road south of here and the bridge was supposed to be in that, but it just didn't work out at the end of the project, so we've been spending the last few years looking for an alternative source of funding.
Transportation Secretary Richard Davey was in Westhampton to formally announce the funding. He says in the current fiscal year, he anticipates spending another 10 to 15 million dollars on similar projects, and he adds, not all roadway initiatives have to be large in order to be important.
"We're trying to find ways to ensure communities across the Commonwealth are seeing not only big projects that we like to do, big bridge projects and everything else, but small projects like this one to eliminate a bottleneck and a narrow bridge here in Westhampton are critical to make sure our roads are safe, that the quality of life is improved and important across the Commonwealth."
Funding for the Small Bottlenecks Program comes directly from the state Department of Transportation's budget. For New England Public Radio, I'm Adam Frenier.