fundingby Tyler Kane, Transportation Investment Advocacy Center

Engineers within the Nebraska Department of roads proposed May 30 installing “super two” highways throughout the state, which feature wider shoulders and extra passing lanes at approximately five mile windows. These highways cost approximately $2.5 million less per mile than a comparable four lane highway, which can provide significant revenue savings road planners consider where to spend the state’s next big batch of highway funds. A $1 billion total that includes $400 million from this year’s Transportation Innovation Act and $600 million from the 2011 Build Nebraska Act represents the bulk of highway construction funding available through 2033. Read More>>

On May 31, South Carolina Senate lawmakers passed a budget that will use $200 million in General Fund surplus dollars to borrow $2 billion in funding for bridge and highway repair. With South Carolina’s gas tax remaining one of the lowest in the nation at 16 cents per gallon, such funding is essential to guaranteeing that the state has revenue to carry out long term infrastructure repair and offset a $1.5 billion transportation funding shortfall. Read More>>

Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb announced on June 2 that the state’s transportation budget will not include revenue boosts from either tax increases or motor vehicle fee hikes. With 71 percent of Wisconsin’s roads characterized by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “Poor or Mediocre”, lacking additional transportation revenue will prevent Wisconsin from making essential repairs to improve the safety of their highway system. Read More>>

Beginning this June, Connecticut commuters will feel the positive benefits of federal transportation grants under the new Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Bill (T-HUD). The bill granted $345 million to improve the efficiency and speed of Amtrak trains in the Northeastern Corridor, as well as $200 million to invest in positive train control systems that automatically slow trains for curves to help avoid derailments. Read More>>

With the state’s Transportation Trust Fund scheduled to run out of funding this summer, some New Jersey lawmakers in late May rekindled their pursuit of raising the state’s gas tax, a measure opposed by Republican legislators and Gov. Chris Christie (R). With New Jersey’s gas tax the second lowest in the nation, such an increase could be instrumental to renovating the state’s highways, an action that a study recently concluded would cost over $180,000 per mile. Read More>>