Infrastructure in the News: June 28, 2012
Bloomberg: Congress Readies Transportation Plan With Focus on Roads
U.S. congressional negotiators agreed yesterday to maintain current transportation spending for 27 months, refocusing federal dollars on highways and giving states more power to set their own priorities.
Members of a House-Senate conference committee reached a deal three days before the latest temporary extension of existing legislation expires. The final measure, which both chambers must approve, was posted early this morning.
Associated Press: Compromises lead to tentative highway bill deal
Compromises on sticky environmental and safety issues enabled House and Senate negotiators to reach agreement Wednesday on a two-year bill to overhaul federal highway and transit programs. Congressional aides were still writing the agreement into legislative language late Wednesday, as lawmakers faced a tight deadline. The government's ability to pay for transportation programs, and its power to levy federal gasoline and diesel taxes, expires on Saturday.
Politico: Negotiators flag transportation bill for vote
Transportation bill negotiators appear poised to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, with all indications showing a conference deal will be one for the record books by week’s end. Some issues hadn’t yet been put to bed Wednesday night but were expected to be tied up with a bow in time for conferees to sign off on a final deal this week, hopefully with votes in both the Senate and House on Friday. The bill is expected to be joined with a student loan bill and possibly with a bill related to flood control.
The Hill: Highway bill conference report released
The bicameral agreement on a new surface transportation bill has been released early Thursday morning by the House Rules Committee. The bill (H.R. 4348) provides “provides funding for the federal-aid highway program through fiscal 2014 at current funding levels with a small inflationary adjustment,” the 47-member committee that conference on the measure for two-months said in a joint statement attached to its report.
Transportation Issues Daily: Transportation Bill Renewal Needed All Nine Lives
It appears that SAFETEA-LU used all of its nine lives (that is, nine extensions), and will not need a tenth extension. Read the official statement from Senators Barbara Boxer (D) and Jim Inhofe (R) which came out very late Wednesday evening. House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica issued a statement earlier Wednesday. Senate and House negotiators and leadership reached a deal Wednesday. The conference report was expected to be filed by midnight (ET) Wednesday, but it wasn’t.
Industry Week: Can the U.S. Revitalize its Infrastructure?
Such events confound an already-difficult environment for manufacturers trying to stay ahead in the United States today. Maintaining a profitable, competitive business with an infrastructure this shaky is increasingly difficult, and manufacturers are left largely unarmed in the fight to bring in the kind of investments necessary to change it. So the question must be asked: Can the United States revitalize its infrastructure to provide manufacturers and businesses a competitive environment in which to operate and prosper.
Autoblog Green: Strong majority of Americans support higher gas tax to improve roads
The 104-page study revealed that, in general, respondents from the West were the most supportive of taxes, while those from the Northeast were the least supportive. Additionally, those in the younger age group (here, 18-to-24-years-old) were the most in favor of either gas, sales or mileage taxes, while the 55-plus group was the least supportive.
Transportation Nation: MTA: Rising Sea Levels Are Damaging The Subway
One of the city’s newest subway station is already showing cracks. The South Ferry subway terminal is sprouting leaks that are causing water damage to the newly tiled walls of the renovated station that underwent a $530 million facelift three years ago. MTA CEO Joseph Lhota said rising sea levels coupled with poorly sealed walls led to leaks in the station, which opened in 2009.
“Our common infrastructure is a horizontal thing that so much of our economy rests on. It’s clear now that…our success relies on a robust international digital infrastructure, both wired and wireless.”