States to Lose $8.7 Billion in Highway Funds
from The Journal of Commerce
FHWA to rescind funds with or without extension of SAFETEA-LU. State highway officials warn that unless Congress acts, they will lose $8.7 billion in money allocated for projects ranging from interstate highway maintenance to safe routes for school buses on Oct. 1. The Federal Highway Administration announced that it will rescind funds that have been budgeted but not obligated for highway contracts on Sept. 30.
Will the Push for Earmarks Undermine Efforts to Reform Surface Transportation Policy?
from Transportation National Journal
The Center for Public Integrity reported that almost 1,800 "special interest groups" have already hired 2,100 lobbyists and spent an estimated $45 million to lobby Congress on transportation in the first half of this year. The center, which tracks money in politics, says its investigation of transportation lobbying shows that "Congress's funding of transportation has become a broken process influenced by special interests." According to the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, the number of earmarks exploded from just 10 in 1982 to more than 6,300 in the 2005 SAFETEA-LU law.
Senators Weigh Short Highway Bill Extension
from The Journal of Commerce
In the face of insistence by leaders in the House of Representatives to extend soon-to-expire federal highway programs by only three months, some senators are beginning to move away from plans for an 18-month extension. And the highway programs could be tied to plans to extend the Federal Aviation Administration by three months as well. Both sets of transport programs are now set to expire Sept. 30, the end of the government's current fiscal year.
NuStar Sees Asphalt Demand Increasing on Stimulus
NuStar Energy LP and other U.S. asphalt producers expect to see asphalt demand increase as federal stimulus money, which has taken longer than expected to be dispersed, filters down to road-paving projects. The U.S. government has spent about $1.58 billion out of $26.6 billion through Sept. 4 for highway projects, according to the Department of Transportationís Federal Highway Administration.
Legislation for a 21st Century Transportation System Doesn't Come Easy
from The New York Times
The road to reforming the nation's transportation systems looks to be a long and winding one. Once lawmakers decide when to move forward with the sweeping overhauls they promise, they will need to find a way to pay for it. And once that difficult task is accomplished, the debate will only grow more complicated.
Cable Barriers Designed for Driver Safety
from Michigan Live
They might damage the vehicle of a driver who runs off one of the regionís major highways, but state officials say cable barriers being installed along more than 280 miles of Michigan roads are a cost-effective way to enhance driver safety.
New Highway Bidding Scheme to Save Time
from Business Standard
Under a new policy, all road highway projects are to be earmarked from the beginning to one of three processes of bidding, on the basis of its financial viability. This pre-selection is estimated to save up to 18 months of time.
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