By a vote of 88-7 the Senate approved the FY 2008 transportation appropriations bill Sept. 12. An amendment offered by transportation subcommittee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to add $1 billion in funding to address structurally deficient bridges was approved by a vote of 60-33. The bill fully funds the SAFETEA-LU guaranteed funding level of $40.2 billion for the highway program and, with the additional bridge funding, brings the grand total in highway program funds to $41.2 billion. This is a $2.1 billion increase over the FY 2007 level. The additional bridge funds will be apportioned to states under the existing bridge allocation formula and will be limited in use to meeting specific bridge needs. The bill also provides $3.5 billion (same as FY 07) in airport improvement grants, and transit funding of $9.7 billion, a $700 million increase over FY 2007. The House passed its version of the bill previously, which does not include the bridge funding. The two different versions of the legislation must now be reconciled in conference. The Administration objects to the overall funding level in the bill and other specific funding concerns and threatened a veto if these issues are not resolved.
Senate approves '08 transportation spending bill
Bill adds $1 billion in bridge funds