U.S. Senators introduce $287 billion highway bill

FreightWaves |

By John Gallagher | August 2, 2019

A $287 billion proposal reauthorizing funding to maintain and repair the country’s roads and bridges includes a first-ever title addressing carbon emissions and supporting electric vehicle infrastructure.

The legislation, a five-year reauthorization of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act to be called America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019, was introduced on July 29 by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. The proposed funding for federal-aid highway programs is a 27 percent increase from the $226 billion authorized in the current legislation, which expires in October 2020.

“We are very pleased with the increase in funding for the INFRA and national freight programs, as well as the committee’s proposal to increase the flexibility of those programs so funding is available for multimodal and intermodal project,” Elaine Nessle, executive director of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, told FreightWaves.

“The demand out there certainly speaks to the need for an increasing level of funding. Round after round, the U.S. Department of Transportation receives far more requests than what is available in the funds. This still won’t satisfy all the needs being requested but it gets us closer to what’s needed on an annual basis.”

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