BOSTON (WWLP) – Is East-West rail still on track? 22News has the latest on the project.
On Thursday, the Senate unanimously passed an infrastructure bond bill that included funding for East-West Rail. The bill will fund billions of dollars in roads, bridges, and public transit. The $10.84 billion dollar infrastructure bond bill adopted many amendments along the way, including one that increased funding for East-West rail. The bill originally called for $250 million dollars to be allocated to East-West Rail. An amendment was filed to increase that to $500 million dollars and then refiled to fund the project at $275 million, which was adopted. The House passed its infrastructure bill last month which appropriated $250 million dollars for East-West rail.
East-West Rail would connect Pittsfield, Springfield, Palmer, Worcester, and Boston.
“It really does mean that we’re going to be able to connect our entire Commonwealth, it means that we’ll relieve pressure on housing in the eastern part of the state, in the era when we’ve seen more and more remote work people can live out here and work anywhere,” said Adam Hinds of Pittsfield.
Lawmakers will have to reconcile the differences between this bill and the house’s version before they can send it to the Governor, who filed his own version of this bill in April at $9.7 billion dollars.
The expansion of East-West rail is estimated to cost between $2.4 and $4.6 billion dollars.