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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 11A: Project selection advisory council

Section 11A. (a) There shall be a project selection advisory council which shall be charged with developing a uniform project selection criteria to be used in the development of a comprehensive state transportation plan as required by section 11.

(b) The council shall consist of the following members: the secretary or the secretary's designee, who shall serve as chair; 3 members to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall have practical experience in transportation planning and policy, 1 of whom shall be a registered civil engineer with at least 10 years' experience and 1 of whom shall be a member of a regional planning agency; 1 member to be appointed by the president of the senate, who shall be an expert in the field of transportation finance; 1 member to be appointed by the minority leader of the senate, who shall be a member of the construction industry; 1 member to be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, who shall be a representative of a transportation consumer organization or other public interest organization; 1 member to be appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives, who shall be a member of a business association; and a representative of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. The department shall provide the council with qualified administrative staff and the regional planning agencies may provide qualified technical assistance to the council.

(c) The project selection criteria developed under this section shall include a project priority formula or other data-driven process that shall include, but not be limited to, the following factors: engineering; condition of existing assets; safety; economic impact; regional priorities; and the anticipated cost of the project. The council may divide projects into several categories including, but not limited to: preservation and maintenance of existing assets; modernization of existing assets that improve safety; expansion projects that add to the existing system; and local construction. The factors chosen by the council may be weighted to prioritize specific factors and such weighting of factors may differ by project category as determined by the council.

(d) The council shall conduct at least 6 public hearings, 1 in each of the department's highway districts, before final approval of the project selection criteria. The council shall provide interested persons with an opportunity to submit their views orally and in writing and the department may create and maintain a website to allow members of the public to submit comments electronically and to review comments submitted by others. The council shall provide notice of each public hearing by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the highway district in which the hearing is to be located in each of 2 successive weeks, the first publication to be at least 14 days before the day of the hearing and, if feasible, by posting a notice in a conspicuous place in the cities or towns within the highway district for at least 14 consecutive days immediately prior to the day of the hearing.