Wednesday, 5 September 2012

$363M for State Highway Projects


US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced recently that the agency would transfer about $363 million worth of funds towards state highway projects. The funds would be used to support a wide array of highway improvements as it relates to interstate rehabilitation and reconstruction, as well as technologies. These new improvements and innovations are to elevate safety standards and reduce traffic congestion, which appears to be the biggest nuisance of roadway travel.


The Transportation agency believes this to be a worthwhile investment that will continue to make roadway travel advantageous for commuting and transporting. Beyond that, the federal agency believes this would be a great way to generate additional jobs for the public. Secretary LaHood states that “investments in transportation projects like these create jobs right away in communities across the country, and lay a foundation for future economic growth,” which is completely true. 

The unemployment rate has remained rather stagnant in recent months and the job market seems to need a bit of a jump start from the government. This announcement will better improve the transportation used by commuters and transporters, while at the same time create employment opportunities for those desperately in need.

The Federal Highway Administration has begun to invite states, cities, tribal governments and local planning committees to apply for federal funding from registered federal programs that focus on roadway projects. These programs include: Public Lands Highway, National Scenic Byways, Highways for LIFE, and many others. Here is an example of the type of projects these programs are looking to help fund: Louisiana received over $3 million to improve a major interstate, I-10, from one area to another area, as well as adding new pavement, upgrading guardrails and adding new roadway striping to the route. The funds have allowed this interstate to continue being a major truck corridor, as well as being a more efficient hurricane evacuation route.

The biggest thing that should be taken away from this article is the fact that the trucking community has directly allowed for this transfer of funds to occur. Because of the various truck taxes, which include the heavy vehicle use tax normally filed with tax form 2290, federal agencies, like the US Transportation, are able to generate enough money to finance a vast variety of programs that are to benefit roadways, improve safety conditions, and ease the stress of a cross country voyage for long haul truckers. Without heavy vehicle use tax payment compliance by heavy vehicle operators, federal agencies would simply not have the resources or funds to make such opportunities available. The heavy vehicle use tax is the primary financier of many major transportation programs.


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