Voters approve infrastructure funding initiatives in several states

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Voters in several states voted Tuesday to fund or solidify funding for transportation projects.Voters in several states voted Tuesday to fund or solidify funding for transportation projects.

Ballots nationwide Tuesday featured a host of transportation-related measures on state and local levels, several of which could have impacts on the trucking industry via improved infrastructure funding.

Voters in Illinois and New Jersey approved constitutional amendments that lock in gas tax proceeds to transportation projects. Similarly, an amendment in Illinois makes it unconstitutional for the state to use vehicle registration fees and gas taxes for anything other than transportation, which will give road projects a better chance at coming to fruition.

Additionally, voters in Maine approved a $100 million bond issue that will fund construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the state’s highways and bridges, which will be matched with another $137 million in federal and other funds.

Texas’ capital city of Austin received permission from its voters to borrow $720 million over the next five years for transportation projects in the city, $101 million of which will be used for highway projects, including $46 million for Loop 360 around the western perimeter of the city.

Louisiana will also be looking to improve its roads after voters approved a new trust fund that can be spent on construction projects and roadwork, The Advocate reports. Once the trust fund reaches $5 billion, up to 10 percent of it can be used on road improvements, the report says.

Finally, Rhode Island will use $70 million to make improvements at the Port of Davisville in North Kingstown and the Port of Providence after voters approved the measure Tuesday. Funding will be used to modernize part of the Port of Davisville and to expand capacity at the Port of Providence.