Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's (D) signature on the five-year, $12.7-billion transportation bond bill last month has brought a great sigh of relief, industry executives say. The measure is set to pave the way for a host of long-awaited projects to improve roads and other infrastructure.
The South Coast Rail project, which would extend service from the Boston area to the southeastern coast, is among the major proposals expected to move forward as a result of the measure. Others include the green line extension, which would add stations and mileage to the Greater Boston light rail service, and South Station improvements, which include upgrades and expansion.
"In Massachusetts, the bond bill creates sort of a spending list that is greater than the funding [available] to support it … and so some of the things don't get funded," says Kristina Egan, director of the nonprofit Transportation for Massachusetts. She expects many projects to move forward, however, including major rail projects, road and highway improvements and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority system upgrades.