Just when it seemed all was lost in perpetual Congressional gridlock, a glimmer of hope comes from the Senate today.
The Washington Post reports that a bipartisan coalition of senators on Tuesday introduced a six-year bill that would boost overall spending on U.S. roads and bridges.
In the middle of summer construction season many state highway departments, including from the Georgia Department of Transportation, have scaled back on projects because states aren’t sure whether federal payments will come through after current funding expires July 31.
About 100 transportation projects totaling $447 million are on hold in Georgia this year because of the federal funding uncertainty.
The Washington Post further describes the new legislative proposal:
The six-year bill would increase highway spending
by almost 13 percent over the current level, bumping it up by more than $2 billion each year. It includes a new program to spread more than $2 billion a year among states to invest in improvements for freight facilities that move goods and products.
It further streamlines project approval, whacking away at the federal red tape that state officials say has slowed the process. It holds flat at $819 million money for pedestrian, cycling and roadway landscaping that have drawn the ire of conservatives who believe those improvements should be left to the states.