A measure designed to address a wide variety of road and bridge infrastructure construction and upgrading issues is now under review in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
The Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation Act, otherwise known as the INVEST in America Act, will provide some $494 billion over a period of five years to fund tens of thousands of infrastructure projects nationally.
The legislation is designed to succeed the equally large Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which is set to expire on September 30.
As proposed by Peter Fazio, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the new legislation includes $49 billion for local transportation projects; $28 billion for bridge construction and upgrading projects; and $9 billion in the form of discretionary grants for various freight, highway, and transit projects.
Acknowledging the impact catastrophic weather events have had on some of the country’s transportation infrastructure in recent years, the INVEST Act also includes $6.2 billion for what is described as “pre-disaster mitigation” work, building alternatives to infrastructure repeatedly damaged by storms, hurricanes, and floods.
In a statement, Fazio remarked that the “bulk of our nation’s infrastructure—roads, bridges, public transit and rail systems, the things that hundreds of millions of American families and businesses rely on every single day—is not only badly outdated, in many places its downright dangerous and holding our economy back.”
Industry response to the proposal has so far been favorable, with Paul Skoutelas, chief executive officer of the American Public Transportation Association, predicting that the measure will “transform our nation’s infrastructure and put us on the path to build more equitable communities for all Americans.”
The measure could make it out of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by late June. Proponents will then be tasked not only with its passage in the House but also reconciling it with similar legislation in the Senate.
President Trump has indicated an interest in signing a comprehensive transportation bill this year.
By Garry Boulard
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