Congressman Dave Reichert recently voted in favor of transportation legislation to boost the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) by $8 billion and bring much-needed funding to bridges and transportation infrastructure across the country.
The legislation ensures full funding of the highway and public transportation investment levels authorized by the 2005 transportation legislation, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFE TEA-LU). The $8 billion funding boost is essentially a repayment from the General Treasury Fund from dollars it borrowed in 1990 from the HTF when the HTF had a surplus.
“Washington State is in dire need of transportation funding, with record congestion and bridges such as 520 and the Alaskan Way Viaduct needing upgrades,” said Reichert. “Now, with gas prices at record highs, people are driving less and conserving on fuel. Because of this conservation on the roads, revenues normally coming in to provide for repair and construction of our transportation systems is sliding downwards, and this funding will assist in maintaining the necessary level of funds until the Highway Trust Fund’s outdated financing mechanism can be restructured.”
The bill will save over $207 million to Washington State and over 7,000 related jobs. HTF revenues are falling behind from projections made in 2005, and without this legislation, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials have estimated that the shortfall could lead to a loss nationwide of nearly 380,000 jobs.