Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx is sending a surface-transportation reauthorization proposal to Congress that would run for four years and pump $302 billion into revamping the nation’s infrastructure.
The measure earmarks $199 billion alone for investments in the nation’s highway system and road safety.
The lengthy highly detailed proposal includes this controversial measure: States would be enabled to toll existing Interstate lanes to help fund needed highway repairs—but only if approved to do so by DOT.
The Grow America (Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America) Act, the proposal will reach Capitol Hill as the House and Senate are under pressure to pass legislation to ensure that the Highway Trust Fund does not run out of money by August.
“Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable and unaffordable,” remarked Foxx.
What’s more, per the Dept. of Transportation (DOT), passage of the Grow America Act would “create millions of jobs and lay the foundation for long-term competitiveness, rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges while providing much-needed certainty for local and state governments and addressing the country’s future needs.”
The proposal includes this controversial measure: States would be enabled to toll existing Interstate lanes to help fund needed highway repairs—but only if approved to do so by DOT.
Key elements within the proposal specifically related to trucking include:
- Invest $199 in the highway system and road safety. The proposal will increase the amount of highway funds by an average of about 22% above FY 2014 enacted levels while emphasizing “Fix-it-First” policies and reforms that prioritize investments for much needed repairs and improvements
- Provide more than $7 billion for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to improve safety for all users of highways and roads, providing a benefit of $21 for every Federal dollar used for infrastructure-related safety investments
- Provide $10 billion for a multi-modal freight program to strengthen exports and trade.
- Improve the movement of freight in part through spending $10 billion over four years to establish a new multimodal freight grant program to fund innovative rail, highway and port projects.
- Incentivize States to collaborate and establish long-term freight strategic plans
- Utilize competitive funding to spur innovation. The proposal will provide $5 billion over four years-- an increase of more than 100%-- for the TIGER competitive grant program and $4 billion embedded in the highway and transit requests for a competitive grant program called Fixing and Accelerating Surface Transportation (FAST)
- Provide $4 billion to attract private investment in transportation infrastructure. The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program leverages Federal dollars by facilitating private participation in transportation projects. The act calls for $4 billion in funding over four years-- estimated to support $40 billion in loans