Highway bill conference report released

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The package will have to be approved by Saturday at midnight to beat a scheduled expiration of the current funding for road and transit projects, which has been extended nine times over a nearly four-year period since the expiration of the last federal highway bill.

The conference committee report cast the agreement as compromise both houses of Congress could easily live with.

“The Senate and the House both sought to consolidate the number of programs in the federal-aid highway program to focus priorities and resources on key national goals,” the report said. “The conference report consolidates the number of highway programs by two-thirds. The elimination of dozens of programs makes more resources available to states and metropolitan areas to invest in their most critical needs to improve the condition and performance of their transportation system.”

The report added: “The conference report combined provisions from the House and Senate bills focusing on the shared priority of accelerating project delivery. It maintains the vast majority of project acceleration provisions from S. 1813 and provisions from the House bill in addition to new provisions that will maintain substantive environment and public health protections while streamlining the creation and use of documents and environmental reviews, enhancing efficiency and accountability in the project delivery process.”

The full 599-page transportation bill can be read here