CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – An $11 billion state infrastructure bill is heading to Governor Baker’s desk, the potential legislation includes funding for the East-West Rail project.
The East-West Rail project has been an idea more than five years in the making. Supports of the project at the State House say this funding opportunity is a move in the right direction. The East-West Rail project would create rail connections between Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston. It hopefully will lead to economic growth in western Massachusetts.
The increase in transportation to the eastern part of the state would open the door for people to find more affordable housing western Massachusetts. Out of the $11 billion bill, $275 million would go towards the development of the East-West Rail.
State Senator Eric Lesser told 22News this is a good amount of funding to get started, “this is really meant to be a signal, to the federal government that the state is serious about getting ready for this project. So this money will be used to do site preparations, engineering analysis, other kinds of prep work and initial work.”
Senator Lesser says this funding will also help begin the process of setting up a rail authority. This authority will eventually oversee the railways service.
Governor Baker has 10 days to sign the bill once the House and Senate take final procedural votes.