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  • Acts
  • 2003
  • Chapter 40 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR AN ACCELERATED TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FOR THE COMMONWEALTH.

Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith for an accelerated transportation development and improvement program for the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. To provide for a program of transportation development and improvements, the sums set forth in section 2, for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this act, are hereby made available, subject to laws regulating the disbursement of public funds and the approval thereof.

SECTION 2.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF TRANSPORTATION AND CONSTRUCTION.

Massachusetts Highway Department.

6033-0315
For projects pursuant to sections 5 and 11 of this act, on the interstate federal aid highway system; provided, that funds may be expended for the costs of those projects including, but not limited to, the nonparticipating portions of such projects and the costs of engineering and other services essential to such projects, rendered by department of highway employees or by consultants; provided further, that amounts expended for department employees may include the salary and salary-related expenses of such employees to the extent that they work on or in support of such projects; provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, including any other provision of this act said department shall not enter into any obligations for projects which are eligible to receive federal funds pursuant to the authority granted under this act unless state matching funds exist which have been specifically authorized and are sufficient to fully fund the state portion of any such obligation; and provided further, that the department shall only enter into obligations for those projects pursuant to the authority granted in this act based upon the prior and anticipated future commitment of federal funds and the availability of corresponding state funding authorized or appropriated for such use by the general court for the class and category of project for which any such obligation applies ........................................$180,000,000
6033-0316
For federal aid projects pursuant to sections 5 and 11 and for nonparticipating portions of such projects; provided, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, including any other provision of this act, the department of highways shall not enter into any obligations for projects which are eligible to receive federal funds pursuant to the authority granted under this act unless state matching funds exist which have been specifically authorized and are sufficient to fund the state portion of the federal commitment to fund any such obligation; provided further, the department shall only enter into obligations for projects pursuant to the authority granted in this act based upon the prior or anticipated future commitment of federal funds and the availability of corresponding state funding authorized and appropriated for such use by the general court for the class and category of project for which such obligation applies; provided further, that expenditures from this item may include the costs of engineering and other services essential to such projects rendered by department employees or by consultants; provided further, that amounts expended for department employees may include salary and salary-related expenses of such employees to the extent that they work on or in support of such projects ............................................$900,000,000

SECTION 3. To meet a portion of the expenditures necessary in carrying out section 2, the state treasurer shall, upon request of the governor, issue and sell bonds of the commonwealth in an amount to be specified by the governor from time to time, but not exceeding, in the aggregate, $237,600,000 to be in addition to those bonds previously authorized for projects and programs which are eligible to receive federal funding and which authorizations remain uncommitted or unobligated on the effective date of this act. All bonds issued by the commonwealth as aforesaid shall be designated on their face, Highway Improvement Loan Act of 2003 and shall be issued for such maximum term of years, not exceeding 20 years, as the governor may recommend to the general court pursuant to Section 3 of Article LXII of the Amendments to the Constitution; provided, however, that all such bonds shall be payable not later than June 30, 2028. All interest and payments on account of principal of such obligations shall be payable from the Highway Fund. Bonds and interest thereon issued under the authority of this section shall be general obligations of the commonwealth; provided, however, that any bonds issued by the state treasurer pursuant to this section shall, upon the request of the governor, be issued as special obligation bonds pursuant to section 2 O of chapter 29 of the General Laws; provided further, that in deciding whether to request the issuance of particular bonds as special obligations, the governor shall take into account: (i) generally prevailing financial market conditions; (ii) the impact of each approach on the overall capital financing plans and needs of the commonwealth; (iii) any ratings assigned to outstanding bonds of the commonwealth and any ratings expected to be assigned by any nationally-recognized credit rating agency to the bonds proposed to be issued; and (iv) any applicable provisions of a trust agreement or credit enhancement agreement entered into pursuant to said section 2 O. All special obligation revenue bonds issued pursuant to this section shall be designated on their face, Special Obligation Revenue Highway Improvement Loan Act of 2003 and shall be issued for a maximum term of years, not exceeding 20 years, as the governor may recommend to the general court pursuant to Section 3 of Article LXII of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth; provided, however, that all such bonds shall be payable not later than June 30, 2028. All interest and payments on account of principal on such obligations shall be payable from the Infrastructure Fund established in said section 2 O of said chapter 29. Special obligation bonds issued pursuant to this section shall be special obligations of the commonwealth payable solely in accordance with said section 2 O of said chapter 29.

SECTION 4. Bonds issued as special obligation bonds pursuant to this act shall not be included in the computation of outstanding bonds for purposes of the limit imposed by the second paragraph of section 60A of chapter 29 of the General Laws, nor shall debt service with respect to such bonds be included in any computation of the limit imposed by section 60B of said chapter 29.

SECTION 5. In carrying out section 2, the department may enter into such contracts or agreements as are appropriate with other state, local or regional public agencies or authorities. In relation to such agreements between the department and other state agencies or authorities, the department may advance monies to such agencies or authorities, without prior expenditure by such agencies or authorities, and such agencies and authorities may accept monies necessary to carry out such agreements; provided, however, that the department shall certify to the comptroller the amounts so advanced; provided further, that such agreements shall contain provisions satisfactory to the department for the accounting of such monies as expended by said agency or authority; and provided further, that all monies not expended under such agreement shall be credited to the account of the department from which they were advanced.

SECTION 6. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of highways shall take all necessary actions to secure federal highway or mass transportation assistance which is or may become available to the department including, but not limited to, actions authorized under or in compliance with the provision of 23 U.S.C. and section 145 of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1982, PL 97-424, the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Act of 1987, PL 100-17, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, PL 102-240, Transportation Equity Act for the 21$CF3st$CF1 Century, PL 105-178 and actions such as filing applications for federal assistance, supervising the expenditure of funds under federal grants or other assistance agreements and making any determinations and certifications necessary or appropriate to the foregoing. If any federal law, administrative regulation or practice requires any action relating to such federal assistance to be taken by any department, agency or other instrumentality of the commonwealth other than the department of highways, such other department, agency or instrumentality shall take such action.

In furtherance of the foregoing purposes, the department of highways, as appropriate, shall apply for and accept any federal funds available for projects authorized in section 2 and such federal funds, when received, shall be credited to the Federal Highway Construction Program Fund. To meet a portion of the expenditures authorized by said section 2, there is hereby appropriated to the Federal Highway Construction Program Fund a sum of $1,080,000,000 which shall be expended, subject to the limitations contained in Article LXXVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution and which shall be in addition to the amounts appropriated in section 1 of chapter 33 of the acts of 1991, section 2 of chapter 102 of the acts of 1994, section 2 of chapter 273 of the acts of 1994, section 2 of chapter 113 of the acts of 1996, section 2 of chapter 205 of the acts of 1996, section 2 of chapter 11 of the acts of 1997 and sections 2 and 2A of chapter 235 of the acts of 2000.

SECTION 7. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, land or rights in land may be acquired by the department of highways by eminent domain under chapter 79 of the General Laws, by purchase or otherwise, on behalf of any other department, authority, agency, board, commission, or public entity if the governing body of such other department, authority, agency, board, commission or public entity consents thereto.

Control of the land or rights in the land acquired under this section shall not vest in any other department, authority, agency, board, commission or public entity until such time as the work for which the land or rights in land have been acquired has been completed by said department.

The department of highways may provide functional replacement of real property in public ownership whenever the department has acquired such property in whole or in part under this section or such property is significantly and adversely affected as a result of the acquisition of property for a highway or highway-related project and whenever the department determines such functional replacement is necessary and in the public interest. For purposes of this section, the words "functional replacement" shall mean the replacement, pursuant to chapter 7 of the General Laws, including sections 40F and 40F½, requiring authorization of the general court prior to disposition of real property, including either land or facilities thereon, or both, which will provide equivalent utility, and the words "real property in public ownership" shall mean any present and future interest in land, including rights of use, now existing or hereafter arising, held by an agency, authority, board, bureau, commission, department, division or other unit, body, instrumentality or political subdivision of the commonwealth. This section shall not constitute authorization by the general court as required by said chapter 7.

SECTION 8. Whenever the department determines it is necessary that a utility or utility facility, as defined under federal law, be relocated because of construction of a project which is to be reimbursed federally in whole or in part, then such facility shall be relocated by the department or by the owner thereof in accordance with an order from the department; provided, however, that the commonwealth may reimburse the owner of such utility or utility facility for the cost of relocation; provided further, that any relocation of facilities carried out under this section which is not performed by employees of the owner shall be subject to section 27 of chapter 149 of the General Laws.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any utility facility that is required to be relocated because of the construction of a project federally funded under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1982 and the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1987 may be relocated temporarily above ground during the construction of that project.

SECTION 9. Notwithstanding section 6 of chapter 33 of the acts of 1991 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the commonwealth, through the department of highways, may reimburse the owner of an underground utility or utility facility as defined under federal law whenever the underground utility or utility facility has been relocated because of construction of a project which is to be reimbursed federally in whole or in part. This section shall apply to any underground utility or utility location project eligible for federal reimbursement having commenced on or after the first day of January 1984.

SECTION 10. Section 61 and sections 62A to 62H, inclusive, of chapter 30 of the General Laws, chapter 91 of the General Laws and section 40 of chapter 131 of the General Laws shall not apply to bridge projects of the department authorized under this act for the repair, reconstruction, replacement or demolition of existing state highway bridges and other bridges, including the immediate roadway approaches necessary to connect those bridges to the existing adjacent highway system, in which the design is substantially the functional equivalent of, and in similar alignment to, the structure to be reconstructed or replaced; provided, however, that in the case of a state highway or other bridge crossing over a railroad right-of-way or railroad tracks, the department shall seek the opinion of any railroad or railway company, or its assigns operating on the track of a necessary clearance between the track and the state highway bridge; provided further, that the department, its agents or contractors may enter upon any right-of-way, land or premises of a railroad company or railway company or its assigns for such purposes as the department may deem necessary or convenient to carry out this act; and provided, further, that if a flagman is needed to carry out this act, the railroad or railway company or its assigns shall provide such flagman. For the purposes of this section, the word "bridge" shall include any structure spanning and providing passage over water, railroad right-of-way, public or private way, other vehicular facility or other area.

SECTION 11. The department of highways shall expend the sums authorized in section 2, for the following purposes: projects for the laying out, construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, relocation or necessary or beneficial improvement of highways, bridges, bicycle paths or facilities, telecommunications, parking facilities, auto-restricted zones, scenic easements, grade crossing eliminations and alterations of other crossings, traffic safety devices on state highways and on roads constructed under section 34 of chapter 90 of the General Laws, highway or mass transportation studies including, but not limited to, traffic, environmental or parking studies, the establishment of school zones in accordance with section 2 of chapter 85, improvements on routes not designated as state highways without assumption of maintenance responsibilities and, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, projects to alleviate contamination of public and private water supplies caused by the department's storage and use of snow removal chemicals which are necessary for the purposes of highway safety, and for the relocation of persons or businesses, or replacement of dwellings or structures including, but not limited to, the provision of last resort housing under federal law and such functional replacement of structures in public ownership as may be necessary for the foregoing purposes and for relocation benefits to the extent necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act, 42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq., PL 90-646, and to sell any structure the title to which has been acquired for highway purposes. When dwellings or other structures are removed in furtherance of any of the foregoing projects, the excavations or cellar holes remaining shall be filled in and brought to grade within 1 month after such removal. In planning projects funded by section 2, consideration shall be made, to the extent feasible, to accommodate and incorporate provisions to facilitate the use of bicycles and walking as a means of transportation; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as giving rise to enforceable legal rights in any party or a cause of action or an enforceable entitlement as to the projects provided herein.

Funds authorized by section 2 shall, except as otherwise specifically provided in this act, be subject to the first paragraph of section 6 and sections 7 and 9 of chapter 718 of the acts of 1956 and, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, may be used for the purposes stated in this act in conjunction with funds of cities, towns and any political subdivision of the commonwealth.

Notwithstanding sections 38C, 40A and 40B of chapter 7 of the General Laws, the department shall have jurisdiction over the selection of designers performing design services in connection with the ventilation of buildings, utility facilities and toll booths to be constructed as part of the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel Project, and shall construct, control, supervise or contract those structures; provided, however, that no construction or contractual agreement for construction shall begin prior to the review of the inspector general of the commonwealth.

In addition to the foregoing, the department may:

(1) expend funds made available by this act to acquire from any person, land or rights in land by lease, purchase or eminent domain under chapter 79 of the General Laws or otherwise for parking facilities adjacent to any public way, to be operated by the department or under contract with any person;

(2) expend funds made available by this act for the acquisition of van-type vehicles used for multi-passenger, commuter-driven carpools and high occupancy vehicles including, but not limited to, water shuttles and water taxis; and

(3) in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws, and regulations, exercise all powers and do all things necessary and convenient to carry out the purposes of this act.

In carrying out this section, the department may enter into contracts or agreements with cities to mitigate the impacts of projects undertaken pursuant to this act and to undertake additional transportation measures within cities, and may enter into such contracts or agreements with other state, local or regional public agencies, authorities or political subdivisions as may be necessary to implement such city agreements. Cities and other state, local or regional public agencies, authorities or political subdivisions may enter into such contracts or agreements with the department. In relation to such agreements the department may advance to such agencies or authorities, without prior expenditure by such agencies or authorities, monies necessary to carry out such agreements; provided however, that the department shall certify to the comptroller the amount so advanced; and provided further, that all monies not expended under such agreement shall be credited to the account of the department from which it was advanced.

SECTION 12. All sums expended either pursuant to, or for which reimbursement is made under, this act, for the purpose of acquiring, constructing or altering public transportation passenger vehicles or facility, shall be expended in accordance with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 12141 to 42 U.S.C. 12150, inclusive.

Approved July 24, 2003.