Highway Trust Fund on long road to recovery

Posted in: Bridges, Highways

pothole-300x200pxThe Highway Trust Fund remains a hot topic, as the long-awaited transportation and housing funding bill recently passed last week. Last month lawmakers passed a two-month highway funding extension to allow them more time to search for a long-term solution to replenish the infrastructure industry’s Federal Reserve.

This new funding bill passed by a narrow margin despite attempts by Heritage Action, a conservative advocacy organization, to coerce House members to restrict the funding.

Following the May Amtrak derailment, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee quickly cut funding to the rail service, to the dismay of Democrats. It also rejected the Democratic amendments to increase funding for Amtrak and the D.C. Metro, as well as a provision restricting travel to Cuba.

The bill will provide funding for the Highway Trust Fund, Federal Railroad and Aviation Administrations. However, still-insufficient funding for improvements to American roads has prompted the White House to threaten to veto the legislation.

America’s roads are not making the grades and too many major highways remain congested and bridges fall into disrepair. The increasing cuts to infrastructure will place heavy strain on future generations and tax-payers.

The bill provided an additional $1.5 billion more than what was approved in 2015. However, it was $9.7 billion less than President Obama’s request. The bill is the fifth of a dozen that the House needs to finish by October. I encourage you to contact your representatives to voice your concern about that state of our nation’s highways and bridges.

Our federal funding shortcomings are driving states to look to other ways to fund transportation improvements for their citizens. Keep checking back with us as we introduce innovative ways to fund transportation infrastructure.

Rick Plymale, PE, PLS

About the Author

Rick Plymale, P.E., PLS, oversees the operations of our southeastern offices performing transportation services. Rick is a problem-solver and a planner. He stays in front of challenges by taking care of important things first. He enjoys getting things done and checking them off the list. Before taking action, though, Rick thinks about the impact on others and the future. “We like to have fun,” he says, “But we don’t like surprises.” Our clients appreciate that and enjoy working with us.

Read more posts by Rick Plymale, PE, PLS

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