America’s FAST Act
Friday, December 4, 2015 should be a day to remember for those involved with the USA highway system. If you’re reading this newsletter, then that probably means you.
The FAST ACT, otherwise known as Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, grows from the national freight strategy, expanding our Nation’s Freight System from 27,000 miles to 41,000 miles.
These extra miles will improve connections between major highways with intermodal rail terminals and ports.
Read a quick summary on benefits here.
According to Reynold Hutchkins with the Journal of Commerce, “Under the latest bill, the Secretary of Transportation will be required to develop a National Multimodal Freight Policy to help identify funding targets that reduce bottlenecks and increase productivity in domestic industries. DOT will also have to create a National Freight Strategic Plan to assess the condition of the multimodal freight network, and identify trade gateways and bottlenecks that can be improved and a National Multimodal Freight Network that includes port facilities, freight rail lines, and waterways.
For the first time, Congress has also made funds available through the Highway Trust Fund to support multimodal freight projects, such as on-dock rail at ports and highway-rail grade separations.
It is a significant and historic win for the transportation industry, which faced a cash-strapped Highway Trust Fund, crumbling American infrastructure and a national freight strategy that did not necessarily address a multimodal national freight network, according to CAGTC.”
Lawmakers approved $305 billion in highway funding.
Some allocations over the next 5 years include:
$205 billion – highways
$48 billion – transit projects
$10.8 billion – grants for freight projects
$4.5 billion – freight and highway grant program, where legislation offers funding for things that improve connectivity among modes and reduce congestion, as well as highway freight projects such as at-grade crossings and grade separations
$500 million – intermodal and freight rail projects
$6.3 billion – highway freight grant program that will distribute funding to each state based on a specific formula on the proportion of the number of miles freight travels within that state, which is similar to programs already in place nationwide.
Read more on the Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Transportation
Great Summary of the FAST ACT here