Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Governor Patrick: Let's Refocus on Infrastructure

It's no secret, our Commonwealth's infrastructure is in a state of disrepair. Sadly, though, Massachusetts is not on track to right the course.

Here's the conclusions of a report coming from the Transportation Finance Commission:

The report released today found a $15-$19 billion shortfall in funding for transportation over the next 20 years. “The condition of our roads, bridges, and transit systems are all in broad decline,” the report says. “Our transportation agencies do not have the resources to do their jobs properly.”

“What this bi-partisan panel found, after more than two years of investigation, is that there is a significant gap between the financial resources we have and the resources we need, just to keep the system in good working condition,” Secretary Cohen said.

To his credit, Deval Patrick has actually been doing something about the situation,
Earlier this month, the Patrick Administration took a step to address the most immediate transportation needs, when the Governor filed a $1.47 billion bond bill that will re-start the pipeline of important bridge and highway projects that have been stalled for several years. The bill won swift approval by the Legislature.

People love to talk jobs, but what few will readily admit is that one of the things that attract businesses and help new ones grow and prosper is having a superb infrastructure. The Commonwealth's isn't perfect - and is in a state of decline - but if this state refocuses on it we can quickly leap back ahead of most of America. Let's not rest on our laurels, here, folks. The question is how do we pay for it. Yet, however we do it, it has to get done - the consequences of not seriously investing in our infrastructure could be disastrous.

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