NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford Regional Airport is set to receive nearly $5.8 million in funding for runway upgrades and other improvements after the Baker administration agreed to fund the project, according to an announcement from State Rep. Bill Straus.

Straus announced Thursday that after weeks of discussions with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and MassDOT, the administration agreed to fund $2.85 million in "major improvements" at the city airport — with federal FAA grants adding another $2.9 million for the project.

The state funds have already been approved by the legislature for MassDOT to distribute at its discretion, according to Straus' office.

Funding will go towards runway upgrades, paving, and improvements to commercial and corporate aviation aprons needed to accommodate increased airport service.

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"We are seeing rapidly expanding economic opportunities here in the New Bedfrod area, and with that comes the need for a modernized regional hub for air travel," said Straus, who went on to thank Lt. Gov. Polito for helping steer resources to the SouthCoast.

"I am pleased to see the state recognize and prioritize that need," he added.

Straus represents the 10th Bristol District, which includes the city of New Bedford, and serves as House co-chair of the legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation.

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