Bipartisan Congressional Effort Passes Surface Transport Bill

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By Christopher Hopkins, The Saint Consulting Group

In one of the few bipartisan efforts in recent memory, Congress has approved a $120 billion, three-year Surface Transportation Bill. By a vote of 74-19 in the Senate and 373-52 in the House, Congress sent this bill to the President’s desk for his signature.

Since the previous funding for the Federal Aid Highway Programs had expired there have been nine temporary extensions. The short term extensions have had an adverse effect on the road construction industry as neither local governments nor private companies could conduct long term capital planning with the short term extensions.

The passage of the bill allows funding to repair or replace some of the 32 percent of America’s major roads that are in poor or mediocre condition, increasing safety and easing the cost to U.S. motorists of $67 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs or $324 per motorist.

For full details, click here for New York Times report. The Kansas City Star reports that the once self-funding highway repair mechanism no longer works the way it was intended.

Christopher Hopkins is senior vice president for aggregates and mining for The Saint Consulting Group, email hopkins@tscg.biz 

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