Infrastructure in the News: June 8, 2012
Reuters: Boehner floats 6-month US transport funding extension
Signaling that hopes for a deal on a transportation construction bill may be fading, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Thursday floated the idea of a six-month extension of current funding to push the issue past the November elections.
The Hill: Rep. Hoyer tweets Boehner's highway extension suggestion is 'bad policy, bad for jobs'
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that passing a short-term extension of highway funding would be "bad for jobs." Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that he would prefer lawmakers pass a six-month extension of the current funding for road and transit if the conference committee that has been negotiating a possible compromise between the House and Senate on a multi-year highway bill fails to reach an agreement.
DC Streetsblog: Conference Devolves Into Talk of Extensions
If you were still hoping a real bill could come out of the transportation conference, here’s a bitter pill: House Speaker John Boehner is now talking about a six-month extension of the current law. That extension would expire at the end of the year, along with such a massive bundle of economic initiatives that the lame-duck session is now known by some as “Taxmageddon.” Add to that “Highway Trust Fund-mageddon” – December 31 is just about when the money runs out.
The Atlantic: It's a Tragedy We're Not Spending More on Infrastructure
In light of Friday's shockingly awful jobs report, it should be more apparent than ever just how absolutely, positively psychotic it is that the United States is not spending more money on infrastructure right now. Public construction spending, including state, federal and local projects, has been on a staggered decline since early 2009. Yep, even with stimulus funding. In the meantime, the country has more than a million unemployed construction workers sitting around, and their industry just shed 28,000 jobs in May, at least on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Financial Advisor: Bill Clinton: Austerity Is Failing
Voicing his disappointment that after he left office in 2001 the U.S. cut taxes while starting two wars, Clinton said the U.S. still remained quite strong from an economic standpoint. He suggested that the formation of an infrastructure bank could perform a badly needed service, as the nation's world ranking in terms of physical facilities has slipped dramatically in recent decades. Clinton noted that in Chicago business leaders from both political parties have joined together to create their own infrastructure bank.
Journal of Commerce: LA Port Budget Includes $285 Million for Expansion
The Los Angeles Harbor Commission adopted a 2012-13 fiscal year budget that includes projected capital expenditures of $285.7 million for terminal expansion, waterfront development and transportation projects that will enhance goods movement in the harbor area. “While the budget is a one-year document, our focus is long-term,” said Cindy Miscikowski, president of the harbor commission. The capital expansion program will develop infrastructure that will help Los Angeles retain its position as the nation’s largest container port, she said.
San Mateo Daily Journal: Ridership continues climbing at Caltrain
For 21 straight months, ridership is up at Caltrain and total ridership in April was the highest it has ever been during a non-summer month, according to a staff report that the Peninsula Joint Powers Board will hear today. The JPB is then set to vote on an $111 million operating budget and $39 million capital budget later in its annual monthly meeting.
Norwich Bulletin (CT): Norwich transportation center has been 17 years in the making
“We entered, fought and won World War II in four years,” Lathrop, who left office in 2005, said last week. “I’ve gone old and gray waiting for this (transportation center) to happen.” On Saturday, the 17-year saga of building the intermodal transportation center will conclude. City leaders plan a lavish dedication ceremony for the $21.8 million facility on West Main Street, where Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, are expected to help usher in a new era of public transportation upgrades in southeastern Connecticut.
Houston Business Journal: 17 Galveston-area bridges vulnerable to hurricane damage
Rice University researchers have found that 17 bridges on or near Galveston Island are susceptible to damage from a severe hurricane. If a storm with a similar landfall as Hurricane Ike but with 30 percent stronger winds hit the Houston area, those bridges would have a 75 percent or greater chance of failing.
“Water and roads add to the quality of life…..anyone stuck in traffic at rush hour in our cities can speak to that. It also plays a major role in our continued economic development. Whenever we're recruiting a business seeking to relocate or expand, a chief concern of theirs is ensuring there are adequate water, power and transportation systems for their needs.”