House Passes FAST Act Highway Bill

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Both of Nevada’s senators said they were happy to have a long-term bill head to the president’s desk. The FAST Act, which will direct federal highway, transit, and safety policies for the next five years, will likely be signed into law by President Obama next week.

“By ordering an evaluation and improvement of CSA, as well as removing the flawed scores the system produces from public view in the meantime, this bill is an important victory for data and accuracy in regulatory oversight”, ATA Executive Vice-President and Chief of National Advocacy Dave Osiecki said. Senate approval was expected to follow later on Thursday.

The long-term bill will allow the DOT to move forward with most of the 100-plus projects in its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program for 2016, including highway reconstruction, bridge replacements and preventative maintenance, Salwei said. Kaine. 

Republicans leaders pointed to the bill’s passage as evidence of their ability to govern, and Obama can claim progress on addressing the nation’s deficient bridges and crowded highways, a major goal since the early days of his administration.

The FAST Act includes $225.2 billion from the HTF for highway investment, a $20.2 billion increase over five years compared to FY 2015 funding.

The bill, the longest highway measure in 17 years, would provide money for roads and rail projects, renew the Export-Import Bank, and even restore a crop-insurance subsidy.

The U.S. Congress passed multi-year surface transportation legislation on December 3, providing greater certainty for transportation infrastructure projects that are critical to all sectors of U.S. agriculture, said the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA).

Crawford added, “Our office has been in talks with (the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department) about adding safety features which are long overdue, especially since the road has already been operating like an interstate for around 15 years”.

A big shortcoming in the bill, though, is how it is all financed. In addition, Virginia will see an increase of $51 million in mass transit funding over current spending levels.

The main revenue stream for transportation comes from the trust fund, which is made up mostly of the 18.4-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax.

New York State will get $300-million more per year in federal transportation aid under a transportion bill approved in Congress today. “We have long said that states, which are the primary implementers of the federal program, need a long-term federal commitment in order to plan for and invest in the kind of transportation projects the nation needs now and well into the future to support our quality of life and economic prosperity”.

Another provision of the transportation bill would lift the cap on damages in railway accidents to $295 million, from $200 million. The derailment killed eight people and injured almost 200 others.

Congress overwhelmingly backs 5-year transportation bill

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