CHICAGO – On Monday, July 29, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) introduced a five-year, $287 billion highway bill representing a 27% increase over the current authorized funding from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST, Act. Additional items include more than $6 billion for a new competitive bridge investment grant program and increased transparency requirements for public-private partnership (P3) projects.
The National Steel Bridge Alliance, a division of the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the rest of the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) urge all members of the EPW committee to support the proposed America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) during today’s full-committee mark-up.
“A long-term, robust highway bill will put more Americans to work and energize commerce and quality of life across the cities, towns, and rural areas of our nation,” said Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD, president of the American Institute of Steel Construction.
Among other things, the ATIA authorizes:
- $287 billion over five years in contract authority – an increase of roughly $12 billion annually when compared to the previous highway bill, the FAST Act. Some 17% of that funding increase would take effect the first year, which would help states address maintenance backlogs to improve safety and congestion.
- More than $6 billion over five years for a new competitive bridge investment grant program, with 50% dedicated to bridge projects of $100 million or more. This is crucial for large bridge projects that traditionally struggle to secure adequate funding.
- A required 15-day notice prior to a Buy American waiver being granted for federal-aid projects
- Increased funding for the Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (TDAP). These funds include $100 million in new and innovative construction technologies for smarter, accelerated project delivery.
- Increased transparency requirements for public-private partnership (P3) projects
The 31 national associations and trade unions of the TTC sent a letter Monday to Sens. John Barrasso, Shelley Moore Capito, Tom Carper, Ben Cardin, and the rest of the EPW committee commending the committee’s effort to introduce ATIA as a bipartisan measure that will benefit all 50 states.