After months of Congressional studies and debate, legislation providing for the funding of a wide array of transportation construction and upgrading project has passed both the House and Senate.
The measure, as part of a larger $738 million spending bill, has since been signed into law by President Trump.
As approved, the legislation will provide some $1 billion in funding for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grants. That funding marks a significant increase from the $475 million in fiscal year 2019.
Those grants are used to fund any number of road, rail, and port infrastructure projects.
The Department of Transportation will receive $86.2 billion in the new legislation, while the Federal Highway Administration is getting $49.3 billion.
Smaller allotments are pegged for the Federal Aviation Administration, receiving $17.6 billion; the Federal Railroad Administration, which is getting $2.8 billion; and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in line for $989 million.
Notable winners in the legislation: the nation’s ports, securing $225 million for infrastructure improvements that will include upgrades to roads and rails, both inside and connecting to specific port properties.
Smaller railroad companies also scored with the 5-year extension of a tax credit that will allow them to deduct the cost of track maintenance. Such projects will mostly take place on existing rail infrastructure in smaller cities and rural areas.
Roger Wicker, chairman of the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, said the passed legislation will “guarantee strong investments in infrastructure, health, and research that will propel our American economy forward into the next decade.”
By Garry Boulard
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