Towns receive more road money from state

  • Greenfield will use its Chapter 90 money this year to pave and repair roads and provide preventive maintenance, like crack sealing. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/9/2020 10:16:24 PM
Modified: 1/9/2020 10:15:46 PM

The state is providing $20 million in additional funding for road and bridge construction to towns and cities across Massachusetts this year, and $648,733 of it is coming to Athol and the 26 towns in Franklin County to repair and repave roads, fix sidewalks and more.

Those 27 towns received more than $6.4 million in Chapter 90 collectively this year, so the additional funding brings the total to more than $7.1 million. The funding was included in Gov. Charlie Baker’s supplemental budget, which means total funding for Chapter 90 is now at $220 million this year.

Greenfield and Athol received the most, with Greenfield getting $633,686 the first time around and $63,369 in supplemental money, while Athol first received $507,704 and another $50,770 from the supplemental budget.

Greenfield plans to use the $697,055 to pave and repair some of its roads and do some preventative maintenance, like crack sealing, according to Public Works Director Marlo Warner. He said the DPW is currently developing a list of priorities and will present that to the state Department of Transportation and Mayor Roxann Wedegartner when it is complete. He said paving typically begins in late August and runs through September.

“The extra money will certainly help,” Warner said. “We may be able to do a little more than we expected.”

Athol Department of Public Works Superintendent Doug Walsh said Athol will pave some of its roads using its $558,474. He said the extra money will be very helpful.

“It’s pretty nice to have this money,” he said.

Deerfield received $389,480 and then another $38,948 for a total of $428,428, and Orange saw $411,433 the first time and $41,143 from the supplemental budget for a total of $452,576.

Montague received $489,278 and $48,928 for a total of $538,206. Department of Public Works Superintendent Tom Bergeron said the town will use that money to repair roads, fix sidewalks, install safety crosswalks and a flashing pedestrian sign downtown and some preventative work, like crack sealing.

“It’s a nice surprise,” Bergeron said. “We rely on Chapter 90 money for our roadwork, so this extra, unexpected money will really help. It is often that we get extra.”

Other towns, which received totals of between about $100,000 and $350,000, were Ashfield ($324,011), Bernardston ($200,831), Buckland ($203,948), Charlemont ($197,999), Colrain ($350,579), Conway ($291,237), Erving ($94,435), Gill ($162,696), Hawley ($192,632), Heath ($229,827), Leverett ($164,441), Leyden ($156,864), Monroe ($71,805), New Salem ($160,501), Northfield ($315,518), Rowe ($156,357), Shelburne ($229,198), Shutesbury ($147,722), Sunderland ($200,377), Warwick ($244,802), Wendell ($206,713) and Whately ($159,292).

“This funding represents our continued commitment to supporting communities as they address the maintenance and modernization of local infrastructure, which are a critical part of the Commonwealth’s transportation network,” Baker said.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said towns and cities count on Chapter 90 funding for essential projects. She said the support the state is giving will allow community leaders to take action so that projects are “shovel ready” in the spring.

Reach Anita Fritz at
413-772-0261, ext. 269, or afritz@recorder.com.


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