Report: Infrastructure Aid Generous In New England States
Every state in New England is poised to receive an above-average injection of federal infrastructure money, funding that could play a key role after years where the region's rate of investment lagged other states, a new report concluded.
The $1.2 trillion infrastructure law will steer about $13 billion to New England states for roads, $2.6 billion for bridges and $3.1 billion for drinking water and wastewater systems, according to a report published Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Those appropriations translate to $1,626 per capita for New England, well above the $1,287 per capita appropriation for the same categories nationwide.
That could make a big difference: pointing to past research by the Boston Fed, report author Riley Sullivan said New England states and municipalities for years have spent money on capital infrastructure projects at a lower per-capita rate than the United States as a whole.
Both Connecticut and Massachusetts saw higher state and local capital spending on a per-capita basis in the earlier part of the 2010s, but dropped below the national average in recent years, according to data Sullivan presented.
"New England as a region is confronted with unique challenges because it developed its capital stock earlier than other parts of the country that have experienced more recent population growth," Sullivan wrote. "The aging infrastructure in some parts of New England was built when the needs of the areas were different from what they are today. In Massachusetts, every year, oversized vehicles collide or nearly collide with the low bridges on either side of the Charles River. The bridges that cross the Cape Cod Canal are inadequate for the summer traffic, so residents and visitors lose what could otherwise be productive time waiting in that traffic." -Chris Lisinski/SHNS