Infrastructure in the News: July 19, 2012
Fast Lane: A busy summer keeps DOT "On the Go"
With construction under way on road, bridge, transit, and other transportation projects all across the country, summer is always a busy here at DOT. But with a new transportation bill, the fourth round of TIGER grants, and new safety oversight at the Federal Transit Administration, it's been an especially exciting time. So, I've got a lot to talk about in the latest episode of my "On the Go" series. And I want to thank the readers at Transportation Nation who sent in so many great questions this month.
The Hill: Airlines warn of possibility of having to move passengers to foreign carriers
Without Congress leveling the playing field between U.S. and foreign airlines, international passengers may be moved to flights on other nations' airlines, the advocacy group for U.S. air carriers told lawmakers Wednesday. Airlines for America president Nicholas Calio told lawmakers that they should adopt a set of provisions to reduce taxes and regulation on U.S. airlines to ensure that they can keep up with competing airlines that are based in other countries.
AASHTO News: Best Transportation Projects in Mid America Take Home Awards
Now in its fifth year, the America's Transportation Awards competition – sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – recognizes the very best of America's transportation projects in three main categories: Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget, and Best Use of Innovation. The categories are then split up by size: small (less than $25 million), medium (between $25 million and $199 million), and large ($200 million or more). The winners in the Mid America region were announced at the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials 2012 Meeting.
Atlantic Cities: Where State Transportation Money Goes
Transportation funding is complex. Literally trillions of dollars are constantly at work or on the boards for one thing or another. The type of spending ranges from building overpasses to laying light rail tracks to painting those white-line bicycle riders on the asphalt in bike lanes. And so much more. Trying to define exactly where every transportation dollar in the U.S. goes is probably more effort than it's worth. Understanding generally where that money goes, however, is both doable and informative. A new report has tracked the spending priorities of each state, as laid out in their state transportation improvement programs (STIP).
San Jose Mercury News: Governor Brown signs California high-speed rail bill, calls critics 'NIMBYs,' 'fearful men'
With his most public cheerleading yet for California's bullet train, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the $8 billion bill to kick off high-speed rail construction and showed no sign he was worried about voters' increasing skepticism for the rail line. Calling naysayers "NIMBYs," "fearful men," and "declinists,'' the governor celebrated a project that he first signed a bill to study 30 years ago.
The Hill: Atlanta mayor predicts victory for Georgia transportation tax
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is predicting that a proposed transportation tax in Georgia will pass when voters cast ballots on the measure at the end of the month. The proposal to increase sales taxes by 1 cent in 12 regions across Georgia to pay for road and transit projects is being watched closely by transportation observers nationally because of its occurrence in strongly conservative state.
Transportation for America: TIGER brings joy to Normal, IL, as Uptown Station opens on time and on budget
Over 11 years in the making, the July 14 grand opening of Normal, IL’s multi-modal transportation center brought together T4A partner organizations, local officials, USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood and US Senator Dick Durbin. The project, designed to revitalize the downtown and provide transit connections, was given a huge boost when awarded one of the first TIGER grants in the nation.
Courier Post Journal: Report: Mass transit underfunded
Investment in public transportation in New Jersey has plummeted while spending on roads for short-term congestion fixes has increased, according to findings by a nonprofit watchdog group. The state allocates 31 percent of its transportation dollars toward mass transit, down from 49 percent in 2004, said Janna Chernetz, the New Jersey advocate of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
Transportation Nation: Port Authority Says Bayonne Bridge Will Be Raised In Time For Super Ships
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge will be raised in time for the arrival of the next generation of extra-large container ships. The $1 billion dollar project has been fast-tracked by the Obama administration, putting it six months ahead of schedule. The lifting of the 80-year-old bridge is now set to be done by the fall of 2015. The super container ships will begin arriving in New York Harbor once the Panama Canal is widened, a project the Port Authority says has been delayed until the end of 2015.
“Our citizens do not want less transportation. They want more. They do not want us to spend more on the same old thing or just move money around from one idea to the next. They want us to invest in a disciplined and strategic way in the things that improve the quality of their lives and grow their opportunities.”