The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve the draft transportation reauthorization bill, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA). ATIA provides $287 billion in contract authority over five years beginning at the expiration of the FAST Act on September 30, 2020.
Proposed funding levels for core highway programs are:
• FY 20- $43.373 billion (Fast Act level)
• FY 21 – $47.86 billion
• FY 22 – $48.83 billion
• FY23 – $49.85 billion
• FY24 – $50.91 billion
• FY25 – $51.98 billion
Most of the funds (90%) will be distributed by the FAST Act formula with provisos ensuring each state receives back 95% of the amount of motor fuels and other taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). Each state is guaranteed a 2% increase over FY 2020 FAST Act levels and at least a 1% increase in each subsequent year.
In broad strokes, ACPA is very supportive of this bill, which increases the Federal-Aid formula-program significantly by an average of 15%, or $6.5B/yr. The federal Highway R&D Program, including the Technology and Innovation Deployment program, also gets substantial bumps in the Senate proposal (22.7% and 100%, respectively). With those increases, the ACPA-led AID-PT program* ($12M/year for concrete and asphalt technology implementation and deployment, that helps fund the majority of CP Tech Center’s federal contracts) is included and “enhanced” with some additional reporting requirements.** ACPA believes these additional reporting requirements under the AID-PT program can be helpful to the concrete pavement industry.
It is important to acknowledge that the Senate EPW Committee delivered a surface reauthorization bill ahead of schedule; the FAST Act expires next year. Although this EPW Committe action is the first of many that will be needed to advance a plan to the President, ACPA remains fully committed to working with both the Senate and the House to produce and pass a robust, effective final reauthorization before the expiration of the FAST Act. According to reports by Politico, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled receptiveness to reserving floor time for the ATIA bill this coming fall. ACPA will keep members informed about possible calls to action in this regard.
* The Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) is a provision first included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21). This ACPA-led initiative created both a mechanism and funding for the delivery of pavement technology. In 2015, Congress included the program in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which provides funding through 2020. ACPA also advocated for a similar research provision was included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 Sec. 744. Research and deployment of certain airfield pavement technologies.
** Additional reporting requirements include: pavement monitoring and data collection; pavement durability and resilience; stormwater management; vehicle efficiency; the energy efficiency of the production of paving materials; evidence of the ability of paving materials to enhance the environment and promote sustainability; and integration of renewable energy in pavement designs.
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