Highway & Transportation

March 11, 2009
April 6-10 marks the 10th anniversary of National Work Zone Awareness Week.  The national campaign is conducted every year at the start of the construction season to raise public awareness about the dangers to workers and motorists when safe driving practices are not followed in construction work zones. Each year, approximately 1,000 people are killed in roadway work zones. A National event is planned for Tuesday, April 7 in the Washington, D.C metropolitan area.
March 11, 2009
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved reauthorization legislation for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extending program funding and taxing authority through September 30, 2012. FAA authorization originally expired on September 30, 2007 but several short term extensions have kept the programs in operation. The current short term extension ends on March 31. The House Ways and Means must take action on the part of the tax portions of the legislation.
March 11, 2009
The Senate has completed action of the fiscal year 2009 omnibus appropriations bill which President Obama is expected to sign before the current continuing resolution expires at Midnight March 11, 2009. The legislation was necessary because the 110th Congress failed to finalize action on most of the appropriations bills before adjourning last year. At that time, a short term extension of funding at FY 2008 levels was approved through March 6, 2009 which was subsequently extended further through March 11. Transportation programs are included in the legislation.
February 27, 2009
The bipartisan National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission released its final report today, unanimously recommending the gradual phase-out of federal motor fuel taxes to be replaced by a distance fee based on "vehicle miles traveled" (VMT). The finance commission is the second of two commissions established in SAFETEA-LU charged with making recommendations about the future direction of the federal surface transportation programs and how they should be funded.
February 27, 2009
The House this week approved an omnibus appropriation bill to fund government programs through the remainder of FY 2009. The 110th Congress was unable to complete action last year on most of the FY 2009 appropriations bills and instead passed a stopgap continuing resolution funding programs at 2008 levels through March 6, 2009. The omnibus bill funds the highway program at $40.7 billion the SAFETEA-LU authorized level. This is slightly less than FY 2008 because there was an additional $1 billion provided last year to address emergency bridge repairs.
February 27, 2009
President Obama has released his proposed federal budget "framework" for fiscal years 2010 and beyond.  The document is not a detailed line item budget proposal but rather, in many areas, presents aggregate funding levels and some policy initiatives and priorities. The detailed budget is expected to be released in April.
February 23, 2009
The Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Meeting took place Feb 6 and 7. Over 120 contractors came to La Quinta, Calif., for discussion of the issues that affect their particular markets and to hear presentations from some of the leading experts in the field.
February 14, 2009
Congress is poised to complete action on economic stimulus legislation, HR 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The House passed the bill 246-183 earlier today and the Senate is scheduled to vote tonight. All three GOP Senators who voted for the Senate version of the bill (Specter, Snowe and Collins) have pledged to vote for final passage. The Act includes a total of $787.2 billion in spending and tax cuts. The bill includes $47.8 billion in transportation funding as follows: $27.5 billion for high & bridge formula funding
February 12, 2009
House and Senate conferees last night agreed to a $789 billion economic stimulus bill that includes funding for transportation infrastructure programs. The House will vote on the compromise tomorrow and the Senate soon after. While the actual legislative language is not yet available summaries of the agreement have been released. AGC's CEO Steve Sandherr participated in a conference call this morning with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood who gave the following details concerning transportation funding.  $27.5 billion for high & bridge formula funding (below the $30 billion House)
February 10, 2009
By a 61-37 vote, the Senate today passed its $838 billion economic stimulus bill after adopting the compromise amendment offered by Sens. Susan Collins, (R-Maine) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb). Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania joined Collins as the only Republicans to vote for the bill. The bill will now go to a conference committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions.


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