As the only Massachusetts member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Mike works tirelessly to advance our local interests.
Mike has been a champion of transit projects like the Green Line Extension, Assembly Square Station, and Chelsea Street Bridge to name a few. During the most recent reauthorization of transportation funding, Mike secured more than $5 billion for Massachusetts over 5 years.
As the only Massachusetts member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Mike works tirelessly to advance our interests. During the most recent reauthorization of transportation funding, Mike secured more than $5 billion for Massachusetts over 5 years. This represents an almost 10% increase over previous funding levels.
Mike is a champion of transit projects and has played a key role in increasing opportunities for riders. Mike’s been an advocate for the Green Line Extension (GLX) since he was Mayor of Somerville. In Congress, Mike was instrumental in obtaining close to $1 billion in federal funding for the GLX.
When the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) was threatening the creation of a planned Assembly Square T stop by measuring it against standards that did not make sense for a station built on existing track, Mike delivered a commonsense exemption for the project. The Assembly Square station, which was vital for economic development and job creation in the area, was kept alive under a special category for projects using less than $25 million in federal funds.
Troubled by reports that the state’s commuter rail operator was regularly cancelling the Fairmount Line running through Mattapan, Roxbury and Dorchester, and instead sending those trains to the suburbs, Mike asked the Department of Justice and the FTA to investigate whether officials were violating civil rights.
In a creative effort to boost ridership on the Fairmount Line, Mike used $50,000 of his campaign funds to make the line free for two weeks.
Mike authored legislation establishing, for the first time, a nationwide tunnel inspection program. When a Big Dig tunnel collapsed, tragically killing a woman, Mike called in the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate. Their involvement helped cut through red tape and brought all parties to the table. At the time, Mike discovered that other federal aid tunnels were not subject to any national inspection standards. Mike’s legislation addressed this shortcoming. The Department of Transportation now maintains a National Tunnel Inventory and tunnel inspection standards because of Mike’s work.
Long declared a hazard to navigation by the Coast Guard, the old Chelsea Street Bridge had only inches to spare between oil tankers and the bridge abutments when vessels passed through. To make matters worse, the bridge was frequently closed to vehicular traffic due to mechanical problems. Mike directed federal funding to jumpstart the construction process and worked closely with public and private agencies to ensure that the shipping channel would also be widened so oil tankers could continue passing through.
Mike worked successfully to have the Boston Harbor dredging project included in the Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRDDA) which brings with it federal funding. Upon completion, this massive five-year project will result in deeper and wider shipping channels in Boston Harbor which will make it accessible to larger vessels.
Mike has also directed federal funding to numerous local transportation initiatives. Some of these include money to improve pedestrian and bike safety on Commonwealth Avenue, funding to improve Melnea Cass Boulevard and Ruggles Station as well as funds for Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square work.