Foxx to visit shut down bridge amid highway funding fight

Foxx to visit shut down bridge amid highway funding fight
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Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxGeorgia Power says electricity at Atlanta airport will likely be restored by midnight Ex-Obama transportation chief on Atlanta airport power outage: 'Total and abject failure' To address America's crumbling infrastructure, follow Britain's lead MORE is planning to visit a heavily-traveled Delaware interstate bridge that has been shut down for nearly two weeks because of a dangerous construction flaw. 

The bridge, which carries Delaware’s Interstate 495 across the state’s Christina River, was closed on June 2 when engineers discovered it was not level. 

The I-495 bridge carries approximately 90,000 vehicles per day. Delaware officials have said that bridge will likely be closed until Labor Day. 

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Foxx is scheduled to visit the structure with Delaware Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Overnight Energy: California regulators vote to close nuclear plant | Watchdog expands Pruitt travel probe | Washington state seeks exemption from offshore drilling plan Overnight Regulation: Fight erupts over gun export rules | WH meets advocates on prison reform | Officials move to allow Medicaid work requirements | New IRS guidance on taxes MORE (D) on Friday while he is the middle of pushing lawmakers to approve a new round of transportation funding, DOT officials said. 

Lawmakers are scrambling to find a way to close a shortfall in transportation funding that is estimated to be as high as $15 billion before the Department of Transportation runs out of money for its Highway Trust Fund, which has been predicted to occur as August without congressional action. 

Foxx and President Obama has recommended that lawmakers use approximately $150 billion from closing corporate tax loopholes to help pay for a new four-year, $302 billion transportation bill. 

The corporate tax reform proposal is considered unlikely to be approved and lawmakers in both chambers have begun exploring other funding options, however. 

The traditional source for transportation funding is revenue that is collected by the federal gas tax, which is currently 18.4 cents per gallon. The tax only brings is about $34 billion per year, however, and the current level of transportation spending infrastructure advocates want lawmakers to maintain is about $50 billion annually.

Foxx said this week that whatever funding option Congress choices should be one that provides enough money for a long-term transportation bill. 

"We've had 27 Band-Aids over the last several years: Eighteen continuing resolutions in transportation and nine extensions," the DOT chief told reporters after a meeting with House Democrats on Tuesday. 

"A 28th and 29th short-term measure will be more of the same for state and local governments,” Foxx continued. “It will not give them the ability to make long-term plans."