Wednesday, April 4, 2012
News Roundup

Infrastructure in the News: April 4, 2012


Journal of Commerce: Hopes Dim for Surface Bill This Year
House has little time to reach agreement before extension expires and chamber recesses for summer. Time appears to be up for the passage of surface transportation bill this year. Although the House has 31 scheduled legislative days to approve a plan before the three-month extension expires, it would need to.

The Business Journal: Costa wants new transportation bill
Rep. Jim Costa is frustrated that his Republican colleagues are preventing what he considers to be an important long-term transportation bill from becoming a reality. Speaking outside of his district office in downtown Fresno on Friday afternoon, Costa expressed disappointment that a bipartisan two-year bill had not been passed earlier in the week, forcing those in Congress who want the long-term plan to settle for a 90-day reauthorization of current highway funding.

Progressive Railroading: Standard & Poor's: Transportation's 'unpredictable' funding could have 'severe consequences' for economy, safety
With Congress focused on budget-deficit reduction, funding for future transportation projects “may be lower and erratic,” according to a report published yesterday by Standard & Poor’s. The unpredictability of state and federal funding for transportation projects “can result in severe consequences to the economy and to public safety,” according to the report, titled "Increasingly Unpredictable Federal Funding Could Stall U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Projects."

Atlantic Cities: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bus Rapid Transit
If you're a Bus Rapid Transit believer, here's the dream - a commute around town that is as efficient as a train without the cost of finding the land, laying the tracks, acquiring the train cars and building the stations, the park-and-ride lots and the highway overpasses to get to them (a process, as many discouraged commuters know, that takes years and years and years). Creating train-like bus routes just sounds so much easier. Since 2008, Phoenix, Kansas City, New York, and Cleveland have all implemented BRT systems. Chicago is mulling one now. Worldwide, the concept is taking off, too.


Juneau Empire: State transportation fund takes step forward
The Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday approved amending the Alaska Constitution to create a new Transportation Fund, despite the existing prohibitions on dedicated funds. Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell, said the new political reality of federal budget shortfalls will mean Alaska will have to pay for more of its own highway, airport and ferry needs.

Switchboard: Will Southern California make transportation history tomorrow?
Car-loving Southern California is poised to adopt the strongest transportation plan in its history tomorrow. In keeping with California’s leadership in adopting forward-thinking policies, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is expected to adopt its first ever Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) at 1pm.  This plan is Southern California’s roadmap to cleaner air and a healthier economy for the more than 18 million residents of the greater Los Angeles region and its visitors.

Chicago Tonight: Chicago Infrastructure Trust
Mayor Emanuel expects Chicago City Council approval of his Infrastructure Trust plan, even though some aldermen are raising concerns. Is it really a good deal for taxpayers? Carol Marin and her panel take up the issue.

Wicked Local: Patrick links transportation funding needs with a review of the tax code
Gov. Deval Patrick hinted Tuesday that a partial solution to the state’s long-term transportation funding needs could be buried deep within the tax code. While discussing with business leaders the state’s infrastructure funding needs and what he described as a reflexive impulse among elected officials to reject new taxes, Patrick began to describe the “fascinating” work being done by the an independent “Tax Expenditure Commission” currently reviewing the state’s $26 billion slate of annual tax breaks, incentive programs and deductions.

Transportation Nation: New York Invests $1.2 Billion in Roads Under New Infra Bank
New York is investing $1.2 billion in new, accelerated road and bridge projects, just days after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the funding bill for his “New York Works” infrastructure bank. The funding — almost ten percent of the entire $15 billion projected spending on infrastructure — came even before appointees to a 15-member committee to administer the fund were named.

Press Release: Port of Quincy's Infrastructure Attracts Major New Company to Quincy, Washington
In addition, this announcement by Amway follows several other major companies that have located facilities within the Port of Quincy over the past few years. As a result of the Quincy Port Commission's strategy of investing in industrial, high-tech and transportation infrastructure within the Port District, the Port of Quincy has become a leading rural location in the United States for economic and business development.

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