Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 25, 2014

Posts in "Interstate System"

October 17, 2014

The Container’s Friday Q&A: ARTBA’s Peter Ruane, Part One

3064307 445x299 The Containers Friday Q&A: ARTBAs Peter Ruane, Part One

Congress is facing the need to come up with new revenue sources for highway funding. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Peter Ruane, president of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, is one of Washington’s most forceful advocates for infrastructure spending.

We discussed with him whether Congress can devise a long-term solution to the nation’s infrastructure funding dilemma. Full story

September 23, 2014

Lessons of the Indiana Toll Road Bankruptcy

wr02012429 218x335 Lessons of the Indiana Toll Road Bankruptcy

As governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels signed the Indiana Toll Road deal (Congressional Quarterly photo by Scott J. Ferrell)

Since we’ve written frequently about the contentious issue of toll roads, we can’t let pass without notice Monday’s news that the company operating the Indiana Toll Road has filed for bankruptcy.

Full story

Manufacturers Say Bigger Infrastructure Investment Would Boost Incomes

168153183 1 445x296 Manufacturers Say Bigger Infrastructure Investment Would Boost Incomes

The giant drill nicknamed “Harriet” bores a section of the Port of Miami tunnel last year. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The National Association of Manufacturers renewed its call Tuesday for more infrastructure spending, issuing a report saying that “infrastructure spending has been on a decade-long decline” and that “when measured in proportion to GDP, the downward trajectory of infrastructure investment becomes even more stark and worrisome.”

Full story

September 22, 2014

Vehicle Miles Driven Continues To Bounce Back

JulyVMT Vehicle Miles Driven Continues To Bounce Back The number of miles Americans traveled on the nation’s highways and roads increased in July by 1.5 percent, compared to last July, according to the Traffic Volume Trends monthly report issued by the Federal Highway Administration.

But July’s total miles driven, estimated to be 266.8 billion vehicle miles, still falls short of the miles driven in July of 2007.

Full story

September 17, 2014

Bipartisan House Report Sees Growing Role for Private Money in Infrastructure Deals

1duncan022702 258x335 Bipartisan House Report Sees Growing Role for Private Money in Infrastructure Deals

Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr., headed a special House panel on public-private partnerships.

There was bipartisan House agreement Wednesday that public-private investment partnerships, which combine state and federal grant money and bonds with Wall Street equity and debt financing, should be an important part of paying for new transportation infrastructure.

But there was partisan disagreement among members of a special P3 panel of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on how large a percentage of infrastructure funding will come from the P3.

Full story

September 9, 2014

DOT Makes $950M Loan To Help Expand I-4 in Florida

4913387651 445x308 DOT Makes $950M Loan To Help Expand I 4 in Florida

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at a press conference last May (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Tuesday that the Obama administration is making a $950 million loan to help rebuild and widen 21 miles of Interstate 4 in the Orlando, Fla., area.

My CQ Roll Call colleague John Boyd has the details here.

Full story

September 8, 2014

The Case Against Tolling Interstate Lanes

4701597351 445x297 The Case Against Tolling Interstate Lanes

Traffic moves along Interstate 80 in California (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates is a coalition of state trucking associations and companies including FedEx and UPS that is trying to stop tolls from being imposed on currently toll-free parts of the interstate highway system.

Alliance spokesman Julian Walker gave us the group’s views.

Full story

With Transportation Investment Summit Set to Meet, Here’s the Case for Tolling

152366339 445x303 With Transportation Investment Summit Set to Meet, Here’s the Case for Tolling

Toll lane cameras at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx convene an infrastructure investment summit with private-sector investors.

One topic of discussion is likely to be the use of tolls to help pay for bond issues and as part of private equity deals to build bridges, highways, and tunnels.

Here’s a case for tolling, from our interview with Patrick D. Jones, executive director and CEO of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. Later today, we’ll run an opposing view. Full story

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.

Full story

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.

Full story

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?

Full story

Vote on Transportation Funding Shows How Far Conservative Republicans Have Come

gop stakeout006 052113 445x302 Vote on Transportation Funding Shows How Far Conservative Republicans Have Come

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.

Full story

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.

Full story

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.

Full story

July 14, 2014

Ruling Expected on Bridge Collapse in Washington State

169390129 web 445x264 Ruling Expected on Bridge Collapse in Washington State

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?

Full story

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