Governors, State DOT Chief Press Congress on Funding; Foxx Urges 'Dramatic’ Action

Via AASHTO Journal

The governors of four states told senators they need certainty about federal spending through a long-term replenishment of the Highway Trust Fund, and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx urged lawmakers to take "dramatic" action to invest "substantially" more in infrastructure.

In a Jan. 28 hearing on the next highway and transit bill by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said the short-term measures Congress has been passing threaten state planning for construction projects.

That committee writes the highway portion of any reauthorization, while others handle the transit and safety sections.

"Certainty" that comes with a long-term federal program, Bentley said, "probably is the most important thing we are asking for on a state level."

He said not knowing if the federal money is coming hurts planning. "We just need certainty, whatever that certainty is, whatever the federal government can help us with … Over the last five or six years we have not had that certainty."

He said Alabama is financing $1 billion in highway system projects with bonds paid for by future receipts from the federal program, so he needed those funds coming in to cover the bond payments.

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