Time is running out on federal highway funding

The Washington Post
By Ashley Halsey III
5/7/15

With Congress on the brink of another failure at the end of this month, the usual bickering over who is to blame for not passing a promised long-term transportation bill was in full bloom Thursday on Capitol Hill.

“Our friends on the other side of the aisle haven’t issued a peep about what to do about it,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, flanked by four Democratic colleagues at an afternoon news conference. “Please tell us how you intend to avoid a highway shutdown.”

The only plausible answer appears to be extending the current extension, which expires May 31.

Another extension would be the 33rd time in six years that Congress has faltered when faced with the need for a new transportation authorization measure…
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Potholes widen as (Indiana) struggles to pay for roads: Needs $7 billion in next 10 years

Maureen Hayden, News and Tribune CNHI Statehouse Bureau Chief 12/8/14 INDIANAPOLIS — Jim Meece, a commissioner in rural Parke County, was happy when the Legislature funneled about $100 million extra a year into road funds last year. The money didn’t go far. His county’s allotment — about $500,000 — mostly bought thousands of gallons of thick oil and crushed stone to fill potholes. “There’s a lack of understanding of what’s happening out here in the boonies,” said Meece. “We have roads with more patches than blacktop. We have patches on … Continue reading

(CBS 60 Minutes) Falling apart: America’s neglected infrastructure

Steve Kroft reports on why our roads, bridges, airports and rail are outdated and need to be fixed “There are a lot of people in the United States right now who think the country is falling apart, and at least in one respect they’re correct. Our roads and bridges are crumbling, our airports are out of date and the vast majority of our seaports are in danger of becoming obsolete. All the result of decades of neglect. None of this is really in dispute…” (more) … Continue reading

Federal gas tax increase of 15 cents is coming…or is it?

Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Republican Congressman Tom Petri will stand together on the one year anniversary of Blumenauer’s introduction of the UPDATE Act (HR 3636), which would increase the gas tax by fifteen cents over 3 years and tie it to inflation. The current tax of 18.4 cents per gallon has not been increased since 1993. Receipts from the tax have been outpaced by transportation expenses by about $16 billion annually in recent years as construction costs have risen and cars have become more fuel efficient. The current level of federal … Continue reading