Congress extends transportation funds

Congress on March 3 passed a long-term extension of the surface transportation authorization, ensuring the federal government will continue to fund infrastructure and safety programs through the end of September.

“Nothing is more critical to our members than highway safety,” says Bill Graves, president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations. “This legislation will ensure that funding for important safety and enforcement programs, not to mention needed highway improvements, will continue unabated through the end of the current fiscal year.”

Obama last month proposed a $129 billion budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Transportation, the first year of a six-year transportation plan. The budget proposal consolidates DOT programs, institutes government reforms and cuts red tape; more than 55 separate highway programs would be streamlined into five core programs to eliminate overlap.

The administration’s six-year proposal would provide $336 billion, a 48 percent increase over the previous authorization, to rebuild roads and bridges. Also, it would designate $119 billion, a 128 percent increase over the previous authorization, in funding for sustainable and efficient transit options.

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