Infrastructure in the News: April 26, 2012
The Hill: House names 33 conferees to highway funding bill
Twenty of the 33 are Republicans: Reps. John Mica (Fla.), Don Young (Alaska), John Duncan (Tenn.), Bill Shuster (Pa.), Shelley Moore Capito (W-Va.), Rick Crawford (Ark.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), Larry Buschon (Ind.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Steve Southerland (Fla.), James Lankford (Okla.), Reid Ribble (Wis.), Fred Upton (Mich.), Ed Whitfield (Ky.), Doc Hastings (Wash.), Rob Bishop (Utah), Ralph Hall (Texas), Chip Cravaack (Minn.), Dave Camp (Mich.) and Patrick Tiberi (Ohio). The remaining 13 are Democrats: Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Jerry Costello (Ill.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Corrine Brown (Fla.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Tim Bishop (N.Y.), Henry Waxman (Calif.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.).
Reuters: US Senate Democrats close ranks to fight Keystone
U.S. Senate Democrats closed ranks on Tuesday to block quick approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline as they begin negotiations with House of Representatives Republicans on a compromise job-creating transportation construction bill. Senate leaders named eight Democrats and six Republicans to a conference committee that will hammer out differences between a two-year, $106 billion Senate bill to fund road, bridge and rail projects, and a House-passed 90-day extension of current law that also includes approval of the controversial Keystone pipeline.
The Hill: House votes to negotiate highway bill with Senate
The House voted on Wednesday to meet with the Senate to negotiate a bill funding federal highway programs. Members approved a motion to go to conference with the Senate on the highway bill by unanimous consent, setting up what could be several weeks of discussions with the Senate.
Fast Lane: National Association of Railroad Passengers a strong partner for the future of American rail
Since 1967, the National Association of Railroad Passengers has worked for "a modern, customer-focused, national passenger train network." DOT shares those goals, so last Tuesday, it was easy to talk with NARP members about the Obama Administration's rail priorities and to thank them for standing behind the President's bold vision for America that includes high-speed and inter-city passenger rail.
Boulder County Business Report: U.S. 36 project can apply for federal loan
The U.S. 36 Express Lanes project has been selected as one of five finalists to apply for Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA, loan funding, U.S. Transportation secretary Ray LaHood announced Tuesday. The project aims to manage traffic capacity and provide multimodal travel alternatives to ease congestion.
Kennebec Journal: OUR OPINION: On infrastructure bonds, lawmakers need to push back
We have a message for everyone who travels on a crumbling road to get to work, or hopes to get a job putting some of those roads back into shape: Gov. Paul LePage is holding you hostage. In a typically blunt statement released Tuesday afternoon, LePage said he would not sign a bill that would put a bond package before the voters this year unless he gets what he wants from the Legislature when lawmakers come back next month to complete the 2013 budget.
Associated Press: Biloxi supports return of passenger trains
The city of Biloxi wants Amtrak to bring back the Sunset Limited. WLOX-TV reports (http://bit.ly/JzzM1U) that members of the Biloxi City Council approved a resolution Tuesday. Right now on the coast, train service is exclusively the transportation of freight.
Associated Press: NJ transportation borrowing reaches a roadblock
New Jersey has become so hooked on borrowing to pay for transportation projects that this year, for the first time, money from gas, sales and other taxes earmarked for transportation spending didn't cover debt payments. The state is not alone in struggling to find money to improve its roads and bridges, among the nation's worst.
Associated Press: Okla. Senate approves infrastructure bank measure
The Oklahoma Senate has passed legislation to create an infrastructure bank to receive and distribute federal funds for infrastructure improvements in the state. The measure by Rep. Richard Morrissette of Oklahoma City and Sen. Brian Crain of Tulsa was approved 45-0 on Tuesday. It now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for her signature.
Star-Telegram: Editorial: Federal loan will unplug Fort Worth's I-35W bottleneck
The final piece of funding needed for the $1.63 billion expansion of Interstate 35W from just north of downtown Fort Worth to North Tarrant Parkway -- north of the U.S. 287 split -- is in sight. Can we get a hallelujah from every driver who's been stuck in I-35W gridlock while offering a "thank you" to the federal government's Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.
Retrofitting public buildings to be greener would create as many as 800,000 jobs.