DOT chief to visit Georgia, Alabama

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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is scheduled to visit Georgia and Alabama on Wednesday as he continues his eight-state bus tour to push Congress to approve a new round of infrastructure funding. 

Foxx is making the sixth, seventh and eight stops on his “Invest in America” bus in Atlanta, Birmingham and Anniston, Ala. The bus trip comes as the transportation department announced this week that it was moving up its projected bankruptcy date for the trust fund that is used to pay for road and transit projects to the end of August. 

The DOT’s Highway Trust Fund had previously been forecasted to run out of money in September. 

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Foxx is calling for Congress to reauthorize the surface transportation bill that is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30 and find additional money to help pay for infrastructure projects. 

The Highway Trust Fund has traditionally been filled with revenue that is collected from the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax. However, the gas tax has not been increased since 1993 and infrastructure expenses have outpaced receipts from the fuel levy by as much as $20 billion in recent years. 

The transportation funding shortfall has been attributed to cars becoming more fuel efficient and Americans driving less during the economic downtown of the past couple of years. 

Foxx is using his bus trip to highlight the types of projects that will be shuttered if the Highway Trust Fund is allowed to go bankrupt. 

He is scheduled to tour a streetcar and a belt line that is under construction while in Atlanta, according to an Associated Press report.