Posts Tagged "featured"
As the House aims to slash, tell the Senate to protect money for rail, transit & TIGER in next week’s budget vote
While the House plan for transportation slashes money for passenger rail, new transit construction and innovative TIGER grants, a Senate committee has drafted a budget that increases funding for new transit construction, keeps and expands TIGER, provides support for Amtrak and passenger rail improvements, and funds a new grant program to jumpstart progress on repairing critical bridges.
One in nine of the bridges and overpasses American drivers cross each day is rated in poor enough condition that some could become dangerous or be closed without near-term repair, according to our new 2013 report on the nation’s bridges. Lay them all end-to-end and you could drive from Mexico to Canada across the US on one long deficient bridge. Don’t miss our new 2013 report and interactive map.
With the second collapse of an Interstate bridge in six years, Americans might expect Congress to leap into action to ensure adequate funding for bridge rehab and replacement. But as we have reminded numerous reporters since an I-5 bridge dropped into Washington’s Skagit River, federal lawmakers instead took a gamble and eliminated the nation’s dedicated bridge repair fund last summer.
Shortly after the evening commute last night (around 7 p.m. local time) an entire section of the Interstate 5 bridge — both north and southbound lanes — over the Skagit River north of Seattle, Washington collapsed and fell into the river, sending two cars tumbling down into the river, injuring three yet miraculously killing no one. One of those who plunged into the river along with his wife called it a “miracle” that no one was killed or more severely injured.
The typical American drives less today than at the end of Bill Clinton’s first term and the millennial generation (16-34) is leading the charge. But how likely is that trend to hold in the future? And if it does, what does that say about what we should be building, and how we will pay for it, if not with the gas taxes raised from driving? A game-changing new report seeks to answer the first question, and to fuel a conversation about the second.
More than a third of all U.S. states have plans of some sort to raise new money for transportation to help cover yawning budget shortfalls and keep up with maintenance and new construction of their state transportation networks. NPR picked up that story this week and talked to T4 America director James Corless about the growing trend of states stepping out on their own to raise their own money for transportation to augment the federal funding that did not increase with the last transportation bill.
With MAP-21 signed into law last summer, attention has shifted from Washington to the states. In many cases, states have looked at the bottom line in MAP-21 and are deciding that they need more money for transportation and are embarking on ambitious and often groundbreaking plans to raise additional revenues for transportation. Visit the home for state plans here, where we’re tracking all of the proposed (and enacted) plans in one easy, simple chart. If you see something we’ve gotten wrong or a state we should add, drop us a line and let us know.
When Maryland’s Intercounty Connector (ICC) highway opened in 2011, it did more than create a new east-west toll road between I-270 and I-95 in the northern suburbs of Washington, DC: It also severely hampered Maryland’s ability to build other large-scale transportation projects for years to come. But now there’s significant momentum to raise new state revenues for transportation to ensure that the state won’t have to shelve their plans for a 21st century transportation system.
America’s civil engineers raised the grade given to our country’s infrastructure from four years ago, but unfortunately, it’s still a failing grade for America. With the $3.3 trillion dollars needed by 2020 (according to ASCE) unlikely to arrive in this current climate of reduced budgets and austerity, is there a way forward that can make smarter decisions with the money we have and knock back our maintenance backlog while still investing in the 21st century infrastructure our country needs?
Is the per-gallon gas tax going the way of the full-service filling station? To look at the flurry of proposals coming out lately, you might think so. Since the start of the year, major new proposals from industry leaders, governors and state legislatures have sparked a new debate over the ways we collect revenue collection for transportation — at the federal, state and local levels. Industry groups have proposed creative ways to essentially raise the gas tax. At the same time, 2013 already has seen several ambitious proposals for funding transportation outside of the excise tax on gas.