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Mass. Transportation Officials Watch Congress For Highway Funding

BOSTON — State transportation officials will be watching the U.S. Senate over the next few days, waiting for approval of a highway funding package.

The Federal Highway Trust fund reimburses states for road construction projects and helps support about 10,000 jobs in Massachusetts.

The funds are crucial for maintaining interstates, and it’s due to run out of money next month.

U.S. lawmakers appear ready to pass a short-term fix (it has passed the House already), but Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Richard Davey wants to see more done now.

“Everybody, red state, blue state, you’re driving over potholes, you’re on broken-down trains, you’re on structurally deficient bridges. They have to fix the problem. And it requires revenue,” he said.

Davey says short-term fixes can plug the problem, but create headaches when the state tries to plan years in advance.

“For planning purposes it stinks,” he said. “It’s hard to plan a five-year capital plan when you only have seven or eight months of funding. But as we have done in the past, we hope for the best and plan for the worst, and we’ll do it again.”

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