While there has been minimal, if any, movement on a new long-term federal surface transportation reauthorization in quite some time, that thesis has changed somewhat, due to developments in recent weeks.
One was a late January release issued by Democrat members on the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, with a “list of infrastructure principals” comprised of a five-year, $760 billion outline, entitled “Moving Forward Framework,” which House Democrats said aims to get the country’s “existing infrastructure working again and fund new transformative projects that will create more than 10 million jobs, while reducing carbon pollution, dramatically improving safety, and spurring economic activity.
And the other came this week, in the form of the White House’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, entitled “A Budget for America’s Future.” Included in this budget is what the White House called a “historic 10-year, $810 billion reauthorization of surface transportation programs, including important reforms to highway, transit, rail, highway safety, and hazardous material safety programs” [and] “includes an additional $190 billion for additional infrastructure investments, across a range of sectors, for a total of $1 trillion in infrastructure investment.”
Within the proposed $810 billion surface transportation reauthorization are: $602 billion for highway infrastructure; $155 billion for surface transportation infrastructure; $20 billion for traffic and motor carrier safety; $17 billion for rail infrastructure; $16 billion for Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans and Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant and nearly $1 billion for pipeline and hazardous materials safety.
The additional $190 million accounts for myriad infrastructure investments, includes:
$60 billion for a new Building Infrastructure Great grants program to accelerate delivery of projects across various sectors, including surface transportation road, bridge, rail, transit, pipeline, landside port and intermodal connection capital investments, among others;
$50 billion for a new Moving America’s Freight Safely and Efficiently program to support projects with significant economic, mobility, and safety benefits on strategic highway, rail, port, and waterway freight networks and provide both formula and discretionary grants to open up bottleneck areas and improve safety by, for example, adding capacity, deploying effective technologies, and expanding truck parking infrastructure; and
$35 billion for a new Bridge Rebuilding program, which will make targeted investments in critical bridge infrastructure to restore them to good condition. $12 billion will be provided for “offsystem” bridges allocated via formula, and $23 billion will be provided for larger bridges via a competitive process, among other investments
Elaine Nessle, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) said that she anticipates more will be learned about the specifics of the White House’s budget plan when its surface transportation proposal is released in the coming months, adding that there are some encouraging signs in what was released this week.
“I am pleased to see the Administration is signaling interest in dedicated freight investment through its ‘Moving America’s Freight Safely and Efficiently Program,’” she said in an interview. “Both the Administration and Congress have noted urgency in identifying robust and dependable funding for transportation infrastructure and we look forward to supporting those efforts to ensure that infrastructure funding meets our growing national needs.”
Get news, papers, media & research, delivered.
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Supply Chain 24/7.
Subscribe to our email newsletter and we’ll keep you up-to-date.