Route Fifty » More than 47,000 of America’s bridges are in urgent need of repairs, slightly fewer than last year thanks largely to the federal government’s new definition of the term “structurally deficient,” according to a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. The study uses the latest data available from federal government’s National Bridge Inventory Database.
Transport Topics » Policymakers make their way back to Capitol Hill after a weeklong spring recess to continue to stitch together the provisions for a comprehensive infrastructure bill they want to pass by August. Their ongoing debate on infrastructure policy is likely to coincide with partisan fights over transportation funding priorities, as well as floor votes on key DOT nominees.
The Seattle Times » A key state Senate committee gave early approval Wednesday to the state’s latest major transportation-spending package: a $15 billion plan to maintain and widen highways, fix culverts that impede fish passage, electrify ferries and partially fund a replacement of the Interstate 5 bridge between Vancouver and Portland.
Agrinews » The “Build America Fund” would increase gas taxes for gasoline and diesel by 20 cents per gallon. The plan would phase in the tax increases, starting with a 5-cent increase and then moving to the full 20-cent increase by 2021 and continuing at 20 cents until 2027. The tax would be collected on motor fuel at the wholesale terminal rack, before the fuels reach the retail level. The American Trucking Association is promoting the tax increase as an alternative to increased tolling.
The Washington Post » Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that Virginia has selected a contractor to build two new tunnels and widen a major highway in Hampton Roads. The $3.3 billion price tag — funded by regional gas and sales taxes, tolls and other sources — makes it one of the two biggest transportation projects in commonwealth history.