ROADS/BRIDGES: U.S. DOT says rising highway use points to greater need for robust highway funding bill

Data reveals more drivers are on the road, highlighting a greater need for a long-term highway funding plan. 

Funding News April 27, 2015
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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) said Americans drove 221.1 billion miles in February, a 2.8 percent increase from February 2014. This trend is part of a rising demand and need for greater investment in transportation infrastructure.
"As traffic volume continues to grow nationwide, so does the need for greater federal investment in our highways and bridges," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The new numbers come as congressional leaders are trying to decide whether or not to pass a long-term reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund or a short-term extension before its highway and transit funding runs out May 31.
Foxx has been urging lawmakers to pass a long-term funding plan in order to tackle U.S. infrastructure needs rather than short-term funding approaches.
He recently said he thinks Congress will need at least a couple of extra months past May to come up with a long-term bill.
The FHWA said the February increase in vehicle miles traveled, on top of a larger year-over-year gain in January, means drivers logged 3.9% more miles in the first two months of 2015 than a year earlier.
"By measuring the demands placed upon our nation's roads and bridges, we are better able to understand the need for greater investment in them," said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "Americans are driving farther and more frequently, which makes additional investments in our highway system more important now than ever."
The figures, which include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel, are based on vehicle information collected from more than 4,800 continuous-count stations nationwide.

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