On Monday Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed the FY 2015 Transportation Bill, which contains $685.7 million in transportation infrastructure funding. This represents the largest investment ever made in the state’s transportation infrastructure.
Strategic components of the newly approved budget put emphasis on economic development, safety, preservation and maintenance of the existing transportation system, energy efficient transportation options, and the continued rebuilding of roads and bridges damaged by recent natural.Within the bill, $115.7 million has been allocated for paving, $140.3 million for bridges, $50 million for maintaining and improving roadways, $13.3 million for highway safety and traffic operations, $2.7 million for park-and-ride facilities, $29.8 million for public transit, $19.9 million for aviation, $37.3 million for rail, and $108.7 million for town highway programs.
“I thank the Legislature for their recognition that a strong economy requires a 21st Century infrastructure,” said Governor Shumlin. “I want to acknowledge the good work and leadership exemplified by the Chairs of the Legislature’s Transportation Committees in supporting my proposal for record-level investment in Vermont’s transportation system.
“This budget makes sound investments in our infrastructure that will grow Vermont’s economy not only by directly creating jobs in the construction industry, but also by supporting other important economic sectors, such as tourism, agriculture, hospitality, manufacturing, among others,” the Governor stated.
“Several successive years of record level investment are yielding positive results,” said Transportation Secretary Brian Searles. “We are seeing improved performance in pavement quality and in the condition of our structures. To continue these gains, this transportation bill will advance the repair or replacement of more than 100 bridges, perform preventive maintenance on dozens of structures, and improve more than 375 miles of pavement.”
“I want to extend a thank you to the Governor and his administration for listening to the concerns of the House Transportation Committee that were being expressed to us by our constituents,” Committee Chairman Patrick Brennan said. “We were able to add language and funding to see that class 1 town highways were included in the Fast Fix 14 program.”
Senator Richard Mazza, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, said, “I’m very pleased that the Senate supported the Governor’s proposed transportation program because this level of investment is necessary to maintain Vermont’s competiveness in the global marketplace. We have been moving the needle positively on our performance measurements and this FY15 capital program continues that movement in the right direction.”