TranspoAdvocate NewsState & Local Funding News
TIAC staff tracks the latest state and local transportation funding news and provides regular updates on TranspoAdvocates News. To contribute to these efforts, contact Carolyn Kramer.
In Manchester, Connecticut, town board approval of an $18 million bond hinges on how the public works director prioritizes improvements to arterial roads, side streets, sidewalks, and other infrastructure vying for funding. Read More>>
Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D – 19) said he is open to considering all options for a transportation revenue bill. The package is expected to include road and bridge funding, regional transit authorities, and other transportation investment. Read More>>
In Minnesota, hundreds of projects are now stalled due to an estimated $18 billion, 20-year highway funding gap. This includes the Garfield interchange, the Aerial Lift Bridge, and improvement to Superior Street Department of Transportation. Read More>>
In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers July 3 approved over $465 million for transportation projects across the state as part of the 2019-2021 biennial budget. This includes a $320 million State Highway Rehabilitation investment, and $66 million for local projects. Read More>>
North Carolina officials have raised concerns about finding enough money to pay for the $552 million Highway 31 extension to South Carolina. The 19-mile project is still in early development. Read More>>
The Oregon Department of Transportation has lifted the 5,000-vehicle cap on how many drivers can participate in its road usage charge program. Over 1,600 vehicle owners are already participating in the program. Read More>>
The Seattle Department of Transportation has identified four promising congestion pricing options to toll drivers for driving in downtown Seattle. The front-runners under consideration are: area pricing, a road usage charge, tolling based on the type of vehicle, and tolling vehicles that enter the city center. Read More>>
Increasing Mississippi’s 18.4-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax has become a central issue for 2019 gubernatorial candidates. Republican primary front-runner Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) opposes an increase while Representative Robert Foster (R – 28) supports one. Attorney General Jim Hood, the Democratic front-runner, says the state needs additional transportation revenue, but he has not endorsed a gasoline tax hike. Read More>>
In Vermont, a report to the Legislature highlights the need to offset the loss in gasoline tax revenue that results from electric vehicle use. The report shows the most popular methods to ensure electric vehicle users contribute is a per kilowatt-hour when charging cars and a vehicle miles tax. Read More>>
By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) June 28 signed a bill into law that appropriates $700 million from the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill settlement to transportation construction projects across the state.
Projects to receive funding under the new law include:
- I-49 North Inter-City Connector in Caddo Parish;
- Sugarhouse Road Extension in Rapides Parish;
- Hooper Road Widening in East Baton Rouge Parish;
- LA-3241 extension from I-12 to Bush in St. Tammany Parish;
- I-49 South through Acadiana; and
- LA-1 at Leeville improvements in Lafourche Parish.
The law also allocates $125 million to construct a 2.7-mile connector from the LA-415/ Lobdell Hwy I-10 exit to LA-1 in West Baton Rouge Parish. This project will consist of the construction of a new four-lane roadway between LA-1 near LA-988 (Beaulieu Lane) and I-10 at the LA-415 interchange, in addition to a bridge over the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Elevated structures will be required for much of the project, including flyover ramps from northbound LA-1 to southbound LA-1.
While the new revenue is a significant step, it will not be able to meet the state’s $14 billion transportation funding backlog.
“These transportation needs are crucial throughout the state and impact our economy and quality of life,” said Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development Secretary Shawn Wilson. Wilson is a featured panelist at ARTBA’s Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) in Transportation Conference, July 17-19, in Washington, D.C.
ARTBA’s National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates is July 17 at the some hotel.
Transportation Funding: Best Practices & Lessons Learned from the States [July 17 ARTBA-TIAC Workshop]
Over $2 billion in new revenue will boost transportation maintenance and construction work in 19 states that approved investment measures during the first half of 2019. Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois and Ohio signed state gas tax increases to fund projects, while other states explored new electric vehicle fees, congestion prices, road usage charges, and one-time revenue. Other funding measures are headed to state and local ballots later this year. Learn more about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s ahead at the 6th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates,” a signature program of ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (TIAC).
This year’s Workshop will feature 10 sessions with over 20 expert speakers. Topics will include:
- An overview of state transportation funding trends and initiatives, plus a preview of what’s to come on 2019 state and local ballots;
- An update on federal transportation funding and efforts to permanently fix the revenue stream for the Highway Trust Fund;
- In-depth exploration of how states are adapting for vehicle fuel efficiency;
- The benefits and challenges of tolling;
- Campaign strategies from battleground states, and on passing legislative and ballot measures;
- Advice from state lawmakers on succeeding in your transportation funding campaign.
The annual in-person meeting of the Transportation Investment Advocates Council will be held the afternoon of Tuesday, July 16. This meeting is for members of the Council, or for those interested in learning more about state transportation funding resources.
The Workshop is being held in conjunction with ARTBA’s 31st annual “Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference.”
In West Virginia, construction and maintenance bids on the first round of “Road to Prosperity” bond projects are $1.1 billion, or 37 percent, higher than projected. Transportation Secretary Byrd White says these increases are due to the rising costs of construction materials, a limited pool of contractors bidding, and other factors. Read More>>
California officials say that despite the 5.6-cents-per-gallon state gas tax increase that takes effect July 1, the state will still have an estimated $130 billion shortfall of what’s needed to maintain and improve roads and bridges over the next decade. Read More>>
California roads received a D grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and are now considered among the worst in the nation. ASCE’s May report shows that deficient roads cost Californians $61 billion annually due to congestion, traffic collisions, and increased vehicle operating costs caused by poor road conditions. Read More>>
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) administration estimates that the state needs an additional $325 million annually to keep roads and bridges in good repair. Lamont has championed tolls to close the gap. Read More>>