EPW committee leaders reauthorise surface transportation bill | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

EPW committee leaders reauthorise surface transportation bill

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U.S. Senators John Barrasso, Tom Carper, Shelley Moore Capito, and Ben Cardin are to introduce America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019.

The bill is reported to be the largest highway legislation in history.

The bill authorises $287 billion over five years, including $259 billion for formula programmes to maintain and repair America’s roads and bridges. The total represents an increase of over 27% from FAST Act levels.

The legislation includes provisions to improve road safety, streamline project delivery, protect the environment and grow the economy. The committee leaders agree the legislation will be paid for.

Senator Barrasso said, ‘The legislation is the most substantial highway infrastructure bill in history. By modernizing our roads and bridges, we can make the roads safer for every family driving on them. The bill cuts Washington red tape, so road construction can get done faster, better, cheaper, and smarter.’

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) has said that it supports FAST Act reauthorisation that recognises the added value of integrating technology into transportation infrastructure and provides funding for the rapid deployment of technologies to transportation agencies and providers across the country.

ITS America said it is encouraged by the creation of a new alternative fuel vehicle programme that will reduce greenhouse gases; a congestion relief programme that provides funding for mobility on demand; a cybersecurity provision to safeguard critical infrastructure; and a new grant programme to ensure our infrastructure can withstand the destructive effects of climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters.

The society said the country’s biggest challenge in transportation continues to be reducing fatalities on U.S. roadways. This bill creates a new programme to expand investment in safety programmes, including critical vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology, which protects vulnerable roadway users by helping drivers avoid crashes.

ITS Americas concluded its support stating that the bill provides certainty for transportation agencies to continue rebuilding and modernising America’s infrastructure.

 
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