According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, in a speech Jan. 16 to the Transportation Research Board, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx laid out his top priorities for the year, highlighting the need to deal with the “infrastructure deficit.”
Foxx told the TRB Chairman’s Lunch that DOT will work with Congress and also work “to show them that our most fiscally responsible path forward is to fund infrastructure now. We need to pass a surface reauthorization bill, and we need to pass one for rail, too.”
Fox said that the Highway Trust Fund is likely to run out of money as soon as August, before the expiration of MAP-21 on Sept. 30, 2014. He said that immediately the department was going to post on its website the exact balance in the HTF on a monthly basis. He said that while this number is shared with Congress, the American people need to know it because they are the ones who will be stuck in congestion in the absence of congressional action on reauthorization.
He commented that President Obama proposes funding transportation with the proceeds from corporate tax reform. Also, he commented on the legislation introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) to fund transportation reauthorization. This and the schedule House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) outlined at a committee hearing on surface transportation reauthorization Jan. 16, indicating, the secretary said, that there is momentum for action.
Foxx said that in addition to ensuring funding is predictable, the DOT will build on its safety record and focus on improving the “regulatory infrastructure that delivers our actual infrastructure.” Finally, the secretary said the department will work on setting a bold vision for transportation.