Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 22, 2014

Posts in "Interstate System"

August 21, 2014

As North Carolina Prepares for New Tolls, Opponent Decries ‘Caste System’

Tolling may soon become a routine method of paying for new highway construction even in traditional non-toll states, and drivers may just have to get used to it.

But some drivers are waging a battle to prevent tolling on a congested 26-mile stretch of Interstate 77 in North Carolina.

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July 17, 2014

For Infrastructure Funding, Tolls Remain a Steep Challenge in Some Places

Federal law prohibits most interstate highway tolling. Lifting that ban is not likely to happen soon, even though toll revenue would help states pay for some infrastructure projects.

States are turning to public-private partnerships, or P3s, to finance projects. But with P3s in some parts of the country, there’s a potential obstacle: public dislike of tolls.

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July 16, 2014

Republicans Blame Obama for Blocking Multi-Year Transportation Bill in 2009 (Video)

House Republicans reached back to recent history yesterday to rebut Democratic critics who blame them for not working on a multi-year transportation authorization bill.

Why, they demanded, did President Barack Obama not push for a multi-year transportation bill at height of his power in 2009 when his party controlled both branches of Congress?

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Vote on Transportation Funding Shows How Far Conservative Republicans Have Come

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Lankford was one of the few who voted “no.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

You can draw two lessons draw from Tuesday’s 367-55 House vote to authorize and fund transportation programs through May 2015.

One is that building off-ramps and overpasses is popular in an overwhelmingly bipartisan way, even if Congress can only manage to authorize and fund infrastructure in increments, in this case 10 months.

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July 15, 2014

Distracted Driving Played a Role in 2013 Bridge Collapse, Board Says

The National Transportation Safety Board reported Tuesday that distracted driving by a pilot/escort driver leading a truck contributed to the accident that caused the collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge across the Skagit River in Washington State last year.

On May 23, 2103, a truck carrying an oversized load struck the top of the bridge and triggered the collapse which shut down the main traffic route between Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

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Robert A. Roe, Champion of Public Works Projects, Dies at 90

Former Rep. Robert A. Roe, D-N.J., who once said his congressional career included public works “from the sewers to the stars,” died Tuesday, according to the Bergen Record. Roe rose to the chairmanship of what was then known as the Public Works and Transportation Committee in 1991 before retiring after the 1992 election.

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July 14, 2014

Ruling Expected on Bridge Collapse in Washington State

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The scene near Mount Vernon, Wash., soon after the I-5 bridge collapse. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

On Tuesday the National Transportation Safety Board will meet to determine the probable cause of the collapse on May 23, 2013, of a bridge on Interstate 5 spanning the Skagit River in Washington State.

The bridge is a major thoroughfare for truck and tourism traffic between Canada and the United States, with more than 71,000 drivers using it daily. Was this another case study in America’s aging infrastructure and the need for more federal transportation spending?

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July 10, 2014

Some Light at End of Highway Funding Tunnel as Committees OK Similar Revenue Bills

The tax-writing committees in both the House and the Senate on Thursday approved bills to raise revenue to replenish the Highway Trust Fund.

The committees’ votes put Congress closer to preventing a slowdown in federal money to states, which are now in the middle of road-building season.

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From Utah, A Case of ‘Do It Yourself’ Infrastructure

For Utah State Sen. Curt Bramble, a Republican, paying for new highways with increased taxes should be a straightforward matter of Congress making a decision and then explaining it to voters.

Bramble argued Thursday that if a lawmakers show some courage and make a decision to raise revenue, the voters will come around.

The Utah Republican was one of several members of the National Conference of State Legislatures at the Capitol Thursday to lobby their state’s congressional delegations on a long-term fix for the Highway Trust Fund.

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‘Peer Counseling’ for Members of Congress on Highway Funding

State lawmakers were on Capitol Hill to do “peer counseling” Thursday with members of Congress on the need to put more money in the Highway Trust Fund so that states’ road building can continue in the summer construction season.

“We get to have a conversation that’s little bit different from the usual stakeholders. We’re almost speaking peer to peer,” said Minnesota state Sen. D. Scott Dibble, a Democrat, before he and other lawmakers who are members of the National Conference of State Legislatures headed to the Capitol to speak to their states’ congressional delegations.

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July 8, 2014

It’s a State-by-State Thing if the Highway Money Stops Flowing

As the summer heat builds in the nation’s capital, so does the pressure from governors, road builders, concrete firms, and others on Congress to find at least a short-term fix for the highway trust fund. But as CQ’s John D. Boyd notes, if there’s no remedy, the potential impact on drivers might depend on which state you live in or drive though.

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July 2, 2014

How the Freedom Riders Paved the Way for the Civil Rights Act, Signed on This Day 50 Years Ago

What does transportation have to do with the landmark  Civil Rights Act, which President Lyndon Johnson signed into law exactly 50 years ago, on July 2, 1964?

Quite a lot.

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July 1, 2014

Foxx Rebuts Idea That Obama Is Leading From Behind on Infrastructure Taxes

“Go Team USA — Let’s build some bridges!” President Barack Obama told a crowd at the Key Bridge in Washington on Tuesday afternoon as he urged Congress to pass a bill to refill the Highway Trust Fund.

If Congress can’t figure out a way to raise the revenue for building infrastructure, it will be “like Congress threatening to lay off the entire population of Denver or Seattle or Boston” due to the construction jobs that will be at risk, Obama told the crowd.

The president explained that under his administration’s $302 billion, four-year Grow America Act proposal, “We pay for it in part by closing tax loopholes for companies that are shipping their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”

Earlier Tuesday reporters pressed Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on why he and Obama haven’t called for an increase in the 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline.

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In Run-Up to Fourth of July, Fuel Prices Highest Since 2008 Surge

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Gasoline prices are on average about 20 cents higher than a year ago at this time and higher than they have been in six years, according to data released by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.

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June 25, 2014

A Concrete Effect — Literally — From Any Halt in Highway Funding

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Construction crews work on an overpass along Highway 101 in Novato, Calif., in March 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Democrats are staying resolutely on message as the Highway Trust Fund heads toward depletion.

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