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  • 21st Century Policy Opinion: Stop Federal Spending Outside Freight Corridors

    06/12/2019 4:39:38 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies
    For Construction Pros ^ | June 10, 2019 | Marc Scribner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute
    The U.S. Interstate Highway System is the backbone of American commerce and personal travel. Funded on a pay-as-you-go basis largely through federal excise taxes on motor fuel, today it accounts for 25% of total vehicle-miles traveled despite accounting for just 2.5% of total road network lane-miles. Yet, much of the Interstate system, construction of which began in the 1950s, is nearing the end of its functional life, along with the infrastructure of other surface transportation modes. Over the next two decades, trillions of dollars of investment will be needed to rehabilitate and in some cases rebuild this infrastructure, according to...
  • Infrastructure Stakeholders to Congress: Fix the Highway Trust Fund

    02/09/2019 1:05:08 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies
    Transport Topics ^ | February 7, 2019 | Eugene Mulero
    Nearly a dozen stakeholders representing local governments and the freight and commuter sectors on Feb. 7 urged a House transportation panel to identify a sustainable source of funding for an infrastructure bill. As the panel prepares to craft legislation, lawmakers agreed infrastructure policy should top their priorities this year. Yet, they continue to differ on a way forward for ensuring the sustainability of the dwindling Highway Trust Fund. The idea that former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to consider is increasing and indexing the fuel tax by about 10 cents. Doing so, LaHood argued, would...
  • Infrastructure For The Next Century: What Americans Will Need To Build Next

    10/24/2018 12:14:34 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 24 replies
    Forbes ^ | October 3, 2018 | Michele Lerner
    If Elon Musk’s Boring Company succeeds, the fantasy of slipping into a pod and being whisked from Washington, D.C. to New York City in less than 30 minutes may become a reality. As startling as that might be, such transformational projects are nothing new. Think of how Americans of a half-century ago felt once the national interstate highway system was complete and a cross-country road trip shortened from two weeks to five days. Infrastructure improvements in the U.S. – such as the interstate system, built in the 1950s and 1960s, the first transcontinental railway in the 1860s, and the Erie...
  • How the candidates for governor would fix the traffic mess (Connecticut)

    10/17/2018 10:51:47 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    The Connecticut Post ^ | October 13, 2018 | Bill Cummings
    More than 300 bridges in Connecticut — carrying 4.3 million vehicles daily — are considered structurally deficient. Highways in the Bridgeport-Stamford area are so congested motorists waste 49 hours a year in bumper-to-bumper traffic. And 62 percent of Connecticut’s major roads are in such poor condition they cost motorists $681 annually in vehicle repairs, according to TRIP, a national transportation think tank. Given those challenges, the three men seeking to replace Gov. Dannel P. Malloy could be making transportation the centerpiece of their campaigns. But instead, these candidates for governor are offering mostly modest plans to fix the state’s infrastructure...
  • Will: Infrastructure spending won’t transform America

    03/16/2018 1:02:00 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 52 replies
    The San Jose Mercury News ^ | February 16, 2018 | George F. Will
    “MASON CITY: To get there you follow Highway 58, going northeast out of the city, and it is a good highway and new.” — Robert Penn Warren, “All the King’s Men” (1946) WASHINGTON — Appropriately, Warren began the best book about American populism, his novel based on Huey Long’s Louisiana career, with a rolling sentence about a road. Time was, infrastructure — roads, especially — was a preoccupation of populists, who were mostly rural and needed roads to get products to market, and for travel to neighbors and towns, which assuaged loneliness. Today, there is no comparably sympathetic constituency clamoring...
  • Centre approves 83,000-km highway projects worth Rs 7-lakh crore ($108 billion)

    10/26/2017 5:17:21 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 22 replies
    The Hindustan Times ^ | October 24, 2017 | Moushumi Das Gupta
    In a fillip to India’s highway development programme, the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday approved a plan to build thousands of kilometres of roads and highways over the next five years at a cost of about Rs 7 lakh crore, a spending push that could help generate jobs and lift the economy. Announcing the Cabinet decision, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley called this public expenditure on infrastructure projects as “unprecedented” and “something which has not happened in the country till date.” The plan involves constructing 83,677 km of roads, highways, green-field expressways and bridges in...
  • How will Texas continue to pay for its highways?

    06/17/2017 12:54:06 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 43 replies
    The Housont Chronicle ^ | May 23, 2017 | Kyle Shelton, via The Urban Edge
    Texas is a highway state. This reality stems from the need to meet the mobility demands of both sprawling metropolitan regions and vast rural areas.Paying for the state's massive system of highways has always been a challenge, however. Estimates from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) put the state's highway expansion and maintenance needs alone at nearly $383 billion by 2040. Existing public funding, projected to be $70 billion over the next decade, will not be able to cover that cost without unprecedented funding increases after 2026.While Texans are clearly amenable to paying for better roads — two recent state...
  • Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure promise has an obstacle: His own budget cuts

    06/16/2017 5:52:41 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies
    WZVN ABC 7 ^ | June 9, 2017 | Patrick Gillespie
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- President Trump says he's creating a $1 trillion plan to rebuild America's roads, bridges and runways. "We will create the first class infrastructure our country and our people deserve," Trump said Wednesday in Cincinnati. "It's time to rebuild our country to bring back our jobs." Trump has dubbed this week as "infrastructure week." But an analysis of the Trump budget finds that it cuts infrastructure spending overall by $55 billion, according to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Budget Model, a non-partisan research organization. (Coincidentally, Trump graduated from the Wharton School in 1968). Over 10 years, Trump's...
  • Penalties for unpaid tolls could plunge — but only on some tollways

    06/15/2017 3:58:05 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies
    The Austin American-Statesman ^ | May 18, 2017 | Ben Wear
    The rapidly escalating tollway fines that have left some Texans owing thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars could be a thing of the past, based on an amendment that surprisingly found its way into a Texas Department of Transportation bill this week. But the impact to your pocketbook would depend on which tollway you’re driving. Under the amendment, a car owner who has driven on a tollway without paying — even hundreds of times — would owe at most $73 in fines every six months, plus the unpaid tolls. But that change, proposed by Rep. Ina Minjarez, D-San...
  • Tolls, private financing obstacles to Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan

    06/12/2017 8:16:35 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Huntsville Item ^ | June 10, 2017 | Kery Murakami CNHI Washington Bureau
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s grand plan to spend $1 trillion over the next 10 years on highways and other infrastructure improvements faces a formidable roadblock in Congress and state legislatures. There’s agreement the investment is badly needed to improve the nation’s sagging infrastructure but how to cover the huge expense is the point of tension. Trump would use $200 billion in public funds to generate $800 billion in private money under a partnership program that would finance government bonds and also return a profit to private companies through interstate tolls and other user fees. To do that, Congress would...
  • Private Toll Operators Salivate Over Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

    06/11/2017 11:05:39 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 129 replies
    The Intercept ^ | June 6, 2017 | Lee Fang
    Investors are hoping to seize upon the $1 trillion infrastructure plan proposed by President Donald Trump to transform the nation’s highways, bridges, and tunnels into assets they can monetize by adding tolls and other user fees.The Trump infrastructure plan, which the administration plans to roll out this week, is centered on the idea of “asset recycling,” which refers to the process of securing new infrastructure spending by leasing the operations of existing public property to private operators.The privatization-centered scheme has the nation’s largest toll operators salivating. Transurban, Cintra, and TransCore, three major toll operators, have retained federal lobbyists to influence...
  • Public-Private Partnerships Will Not Save U.S. Infrastructure

    05/23/2017 1:09:11 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    StreetsBlog USA ^ | May 17, 2017 | Stephen Miller
    This week, while Donald Trump ensnares himself in the most serious threat to his presidency to date, Congress is, to some extent, continuing with the typical business of government. A series of hearings during “Infrastructure Week” are focusing on the administration’s rumored infrastructure plan.Although the White House has been talking up private infrastructure investment as a replacement for public funding, a panel of experts told Congress that, even with perfectly executed public-private partnerships, the federal government still needs to provide its own support — especially for projects, like transit lines, that aren’t guaranteed to generate toll revenue for profit-seeking investors.This...
  • Flush with highway cash, Texas still looking for toll options

    04/26/2017 5:16:58 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | April 21, 2017 | Dug Begley
    Texas is spending record amounts on transportation, but lawmakers worried it is not enough are considering extending a controversial program that’s helped spread tollways through some of the state’s largest areas. A bill approved this week by a House committee would give the Texas Department of Transportation a chance to add six additional projects, including the widening of Interstate 45 north of I-10 and a long-planned Hempstead Tollway, meant to relieve traffic on U.S. 290 with the potential for a commuter rail corridor. The bill, by state Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, would also allow TxDOT or regional officials the chance...
  • Democrats bristle at Trump infrastructure plans

    04/16/2017 8:10:17 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 19 replies
    ABC 7 News ^ | April 6, 2017 | Joan Lowy (Associated Press)
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats had hoped the one big policy area they could find common ground with President Donald Trump on was infrastructure, but they don't like what they're hearing from administration officials about the transportation portion of the plan that's still in the works. Trump has promised to generate $1 trillion in infrastructure spending over 10 years. With two of his other top campaign pledges in trouble - an effort to repeal and replace the Obama administration health care law has failed so far, and without savings to the government from health care changes there may not be enough...
  • Trump Building Plan: How One Public-Private Deal Hit a Bumpy Road

    04/12/2017 10:10:09 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies
    NBC News ^ | April 5, 2017 | Jane C. Timm
    Texas had high hopes for the southern segments of SH 130, a 41-mile stretch of the high-speed toll road east of San Antonio. The state had put off building that stretch of road until a pair of investors stepped forward and offered what sounded like a great deal: Texas would get a big check for turning the rights to build and operate the toll road over to a private entity, a move that would give the state a new highway and a share of the tolls. The state would own the road and rake in revenue, but wouldn't have to...
  • United States: The Plan For The Future Of American Infrastructure

    02/17/2017 4:55:24 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies
    Mondaq ^ | February 13, 2017 | Richard P. Puttré, Eric W. Sedlak, Kevin J. McIntyre, Isel M. Perez and James F. Channing
    A Look Into the Opaque Crystal Ball for Infrastructure Initiatives in the First 100 Days of the Trump Administration President Donald J. Trump's "America's Infrastructure First" plan is one of the Trump Administration's priorities during his first 100 days in office. Throughout the campaign, President Trump heralded his plan to build and restore highways, tunnels, airports, bridges, and water systems across America and promised a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure sector over a 10-year period. Leaders from both parties acknowledge the nation's deteriorating infrastructure, and there have been expressions of support from both sides of the aisle for some...
  • Trump and Congress can jumpstart improvements to interstate highways in Southern California

    02/15/2017 7:38:04 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 27 replies
    The Orange County Register ^ | February 5, 2017 | Robert Poole
    President Trump has promised to eliminate regulations and rebuild the nation’s aging infrastructure. Federal agencies are awash with regulations and provisions based on the presumption that government is, and should be, the sole provider of infrastructure. But now that we understand the merits of public-private partnerships, which can provide more accountable public-purpose infrastructure, these numerous regulations and provisions serve as major obstacles preventing the improvement of highways and other infrastructure. Back in 1995, Reason Foundation published a policy study itemizing a number of these regulatory barriers. Sadly, most of them still exist today. If a state or municipal facility has...
  • Trump advisers’ tax credit plan for infrastructure has risks

    02/13/2017 10:01:44 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 3 replies
    Business in Savannah ^ | February 7, 2017 | The Associated Press
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has promised to revitalize America’s aging roads, bridges, railways and airports, but a plan put forward by his economic advisers relies on a transportation financing scheme that hasn’t been tried before and comes with significant risks. The plan was set out just before the election by billionaire leveraged buy-out specialist Wilbur Ross, Trump’s pick for commerce secretary, and conservative economics professor Peter Navarro, whom Trump has tapped to head his National Trade Council. They recommended the government allocate $137 billion in tax credits for private investors who underwrite infrastructure projects. Ross and Navarro estimate that...
  • I-66 tolls a good idea for Northern Virginia

    01/05/2017 8:00:41 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies
    The Fairfax County Times ^ | December 19, 2016 | Patrick Rhode
    Dear Editor, As states and municipalities around the nation struggle to find ways to afford much-needed improvements to aging and congested roadways, the Commonwealth of Virginia has established itself as an innovative leader when it comes to carefully prioritizing the state’s transportation investments and wisely leveraging private sector resources to ensure the best deal for state taxpayers. The I-66 Outside the Beltway project exemplifies this leadership, and Cintra, together with its partner Meridiam, is proud to be part of the team selected by the Commonwealth to finance, design, build, operate and maintain this more than $3 billion transformative project at...
  • Aubrey Layne: Trump's infrastructure plan is no magic bullet

    01/05/2017 7:16:37 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies
    The Virginian-Pilot ^ | December 30, 2016 | Aubrey Lane
    PRESIDENT-ELECT Donald Trump has proposed a $1 trillion plan to fix America’s infrastructure. It relies on public-private partnerships as its primary source of financing. Our country’s complex transportation network needs an overhaul, but private investment is not the answer, mainly because of the returns that investors expect. Public-private partnerships can be an excellent procurement tool, but selecting the right project is key. Virginia has been a national leader in such deals since the General Assembly passed the Public Private Partnership Act in 1995. The law was designed for the partnerships to be used as an option for certain projects if...