Infrastructure in the News: June 22, 2012
Reuters: U.S. lawmakers voice optimism on transportation bill talks
Prospects for a deal to fund U.S. transportation projects over the long term appeared to brighten somewhat on Thursday as key House and Senate lawmakers described their negotiations in more optimistic terms. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the talks had improved in the last 24 hours and he was hopeful for an agreement before current authority for road, bridge and rail funding expires on June 30.
Bloomberg: Patchwork U.S. Highway Deals Leave States Hanging
One consideration above all others may be pushing the political odd couple of Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative John Mica toward a deal on U.S. highway spending through next year: Failure to reach one may idle thousands of construction workers. The Highway Trust Fund, which enables the federal government to pay for state road and bridge projects, may run out of money if Congress resorts, as it has nine times already, to a temporary extension of current law.
The Hill: Reid on highway negotiations: 'I don't think we'll need an extension'
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that he did not think Congress would have to pass a temporary extension of surface transportation funding. Lawmakers have been negotiating for a month to try to avoid a tenth extension of the transportation funding bill that expired in 2009, and Reid said Thursday that he thought a bicameral agreement might be in reach.
The Hill: White House threatens to veto Republican DOT, HUD budget
The White House threatened to veto a $51.6 billion budget for the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development that is being considered by Republicans in the House. The House Appropriations Committee's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development budget for fiscal 2013 is $1.9 billion less than President Obama requested for transportation and housing earlier this year. It contains a $3.9 billion reduction for the department agencies from 2012 spending.
Fast Lane: TIGER 2012 projects highlight critical need for transportation solutions
Today, the Obama Administration is letting a little more than the cat out of the bag; we're unleashing a TIGER. At DOT, we know that America's transportation infrastructure is in need of attention. In some communities, the roadways need crucial repairs. In others, residents need ways to connect with transit networks. We also know that these repairs and new projects create good jobs for hard-working Americans.
Transportation Nation: California High Speed Rail Aiming to Take Its Message Viral
California High Speed Rail, under fire from some GOP members of Congress, is jumping into the communications game. The organization today released a video highlighting all the benefits CASHR says it will bring to California. Not much news in it — just a repetition of the themes that California high speed rail will help out other modes, and won’t be quite as expensive as the nearly $100 billion that was on the table for a bit.
News Observer: Raleigh gets $21 million federal grant for train station plan
The city has landed a $21 million federal grant to begin work on a Grand Central-style train station planned in downtown’s warehouse district. The TIGER grant means the city can begin track and signal upgrades necessary for Amtrak trains to pull into the station, which would transform a vacant Dillon Supply building into a terminal with a spacious waiting hall.
Houston Chronicle: Houston to receive $15 million from Department of Transportation for eco-friendly infrastructure
The US Department of Transportation has approved the City of Houston’s application to receive $15 million under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant, or TIGER program, including over 18 miles of hike and bike trails, sidewalk improvements, and on-street bikeways.
WTOP: Beltway project will be model for world
Virginia's transportation chief says the fast-moving Beltway Express Lanes project will be a model not just for the country -- but the rest of the world as well. "We think it is going to be a great success," says Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton. As the summer heat kicks into high gear, road crews are also working feverishly on the 14-mile-long project. The project, which is adding two High Occupancy Toll lanes in each direction between Springfield and the Dulles Toll Road on the Capital Beltway, is expected to open on time and on budget in December.
43 million tons move through our transportation infrastructure daily.