LaHood: 'New transportation era' begins Monday with highway bill implementation

LaHood touted changes getting ready to take place to the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program, as well as the National Highway Performance Program, the Surface Transportation Program and the Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Among the many moving parts of the transportation bill, which was dubbed Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), was an increasing in funding for the TIFIA program and a provision allowing the loans to be used for almost half the construction of new transportation projects.

LaHood said DOT was providing documents this week to "clarify MAP-21’s innovative project delivery methods and important changes to funding programs."

"Additional information addresses the many changes in the new law from MAP-21’s predecessor," he added in a reference to the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) bill, which expired in 2009 and was temporarily extended until 2012.

There hasn't been much talk about the forthcoming highway bill in political campaigns this year, though one incumbent running for reelection, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) has touted his vote for the measure.