Short-term surface transportation reauthorization bill proposed

By |  June 26, 2014

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) proposed a three-month plan June 24 as an immediate solution to continue highway funding through the end of the year. According to The Hill, Wyden said only $9 billion can be reallocated from various areas of the federal budget for highway funding. The additional funds would sustain highway projects through Dec. 31, but a funding solution would again be needed at that time.

Wyden previously was against a short-term funding solution, The Hill reports.

“It would be a tragic mistake to let highway funding become another stop-and-go extender like Medicare physician payments and many important tax incentives,” Wyden said in May, according to The Hill. “Relying on short-term policies, emergency patches, and temporary extensions makes forward-looking strategies impossible, and when it comes to infrastructure, planning ahead is absolutely essential.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who has been an advocate for a six-year transportation bill, said one day after Wyden made his proposal that she supports his idea, according to The Hill.

“I support the Senate Finance Committee’s plan to mark up legislation tomorrow that will keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through the critical construction season,” Boxer said. “Their action is now necessary to stave off disaster, and I urge my Republican friends on the Finance Committee to join the Democrats to save the Highway Trust Fund.”

The Department of Transportation expects the Highway Trust Fund to run out in August. In addition, MAP-21, the last surface transportation reauthorization bill, is set to expire Sept. 30.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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