Residents, officials, call for repairs to western Mass. roads | News

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The main issue seems to be money, and now a new study looks into the problem and is stirring up conversations on the state and federal level.







SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)–Calls for more attention here in western Mass. to roads that are in desperate need of repairs. It’s something Western Mass News has heard loud and clear from our viewers.

The main issue seems to be money, and now a new study looks into the problem and is stirring up conversations on the state and federal level.

The study calls for funding to be increased from $200 to $300 million annually. It also calls for an updated formula that would put more emphasis on road mileage, rather than population, which currently puts western mass at a disadvantage.

“We’ve got so many bridges and roads around our region that are structurally deficient that are on the verge of collapse,” said Senator Lesser.

Western Mass News captured video this summer in Belchertown after a beaver dam broke and left severe damage.

In Palmer, residents were frustrated by the conditions on Rondeau Street. cones, rocks and ditches were seen all along the way.

In both cases, calls for funding for repairs followed.

But there is hope, state officials are taking action.

“Mr. Chairman and committee members, I respectfully ask you to consider these proposals. First, a rural rescue plan and a challenge to the entire commonwealth to recognize regional equity and support those communities whose very viability depends on state support for infrastructure,” said state auditor Suzanne Bump.

This week, Bump released a report calling for a ‘rural rescue plan’ for western Mass. that would increase funding for the chapter 90 program, which provides funding for roadways, bridges and sidewalks. In addition, the program would create a public infrastructure agency and enhance access to broadband.

Congressman Neal also said some of the bigger projects in the eastern part of the state have postponed a lot of initiatives in central and western Mass. This too is being reviewed.





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