Five-Year Highway Bill Approved

Last week, the House and Senate Conference Committee wrapped up negotiations and the House voted to approve a five-year transportation bill that returns more control back to states and consolidates several federal programs. As a conferee on the negotiations, I was able to ensure key provisions were included in the final legislation helping I-69 to continue to be built and expanded, and included language that makes transportation more efficient and less costly for local farmers and the agricultural community.

Included in the Fixing Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act, is a provision allowing family farmers and custom harvesters to transport the amount of fuel necessary to meet the demands of modern agricultural equipment. It also designates sections of State Highway 44, from Robstown to Freer, as I-69. This provides the City of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi International Airport, and the Port of Corpus Christi the benefits of being located on an Interstate Highway.

The legislation also refocuses existing funding for a National Freight Program and a Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program. It expands funding for bridges and streamlines the environmental review process to accelerate project approvals. It promotes private investment in our surface transportation system while ensuring safety is a top priority and promotes technological tools to manage congestion.


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