Both the House and Senate recently completed action on the fiscal year 2006 transportation appropriations bill, which the President is expected to sign. The measure funds the highway program at $36.032 billion, the amount authorized in the SAFETEA-LU legislation.
However, the bill then transfers $122 million of this amount to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, leaving the funding available to states for road and bridge improvement at $35.91 billion. This is a 4.8% increase over the $34.266 billion level of highway funding in FY 2005.
The bill eliminated $454 million earmarked in SAFETEA-LU for two bridges in Alaska. The funds will still go to Alaska, but the state will be able to use the funds as it sees fit for eligible projects.
Transit funding is set in the bill at $8.59 billion, an $825 million increase over FY 2005 funding (10.8%), but $152 million below the amount authorized in SAFETEA-LU. The Airport Improvement Program is funding at $3.55 billion, slightly below last year’s $3.6 billion level.