Federal government greases the wheels for local transportation projects

U.S. Department of Transportation invests nearly a billion dollars into local infrastructure...
U.S. Department of Transportation invests nearly a billion dollars into local infrastructure projects (Source: Gray DC).(GRAYDC)
Published: Jul. 25, 2019 at 7:17 PM CDT
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The federal government cuts an $850-million check to make American travel smoother and safer.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced 20 grants for states and cities from Maine to California. The cash will help repair and replace roads, bridges, waterways and more.

Experts say the country’s infrastructure is in desperate need of repair, but the law that made today’s investment possible is set to expire in about a year.

“The best news that we have out of Washington is that we have bi-partisan agreement that we need to get this legislation replaced, everyone agrees that we need to support our infrastructure,” Federal Highway Administration Administrator Nicole Nason, “it’s just a question of getting everyone to the table, sitting down, and figuring out what’s going to work best.”

Nason has said all options are on the table when it comes to finding ways to fund future investments. That includes potentially raising the federal gas tax, more tolls, or shifting to a tax on every mile cars and trucks log on America’s roadways.

A Senate committee is set to weigh-in on just how to pay for long-term transportation needs next week.

Thursday’s grants will be matched by two-point-three billion dollars in state, local, and private investment. Work is expected to begin on most of the projects within the next year or two.

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