Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) on June 2 signed the FY 2017 Transportation Bill that approves $612.5 million for the state’s infrastructure improvements and maintenance. The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support when it was passed by both levels of the Vermont legislature, with the House voting to pass the bill 124-19, and the Senate passing the bill 23-0.
Further attesting to its bipartisan nature, both of Vermont’s Transportation Committee Chairmen, Sen. Richard Mazza (D) and Rep. Patrick Brennan (R), voted to pass the bill.
The bill, funded by a combination of federal funds and several new state initiatives, including increased DMV fees and higher trucking fines for obstructions in Vermont’s “Smuggler’s Notch”, will fund a wide range of projects throughout the state, including:
- $111.1 million will be allocated to repaving and maintenance of over 200 miles of state highways;
- $105.1 million will be invested in bridge repair;
- $76.4 million will be allocated to the repair of town highways, many of which were damaged in Hurricane Irene in 2013;
- $33.4 million will be allocated to rail safety and maintenance;
- $31.2 million will be invested in public transit; and,
- Read more details on where the funds will be invested.
In 2008, 36 percent of Vermont’s roads were classified as in “poor condition”. That number decreased to 15 percent at the end of FY 2015, while at the same time Vermont cut their number of structurally deficient bridges in half, evidence of the state’s significant level of investment in infrastructure. The most recent investment, a near-record for the state’s single year transportation investment, is expected to further build upon the improvements.