Congress passed a bill that provides funding for key infrastructure over the next five years. President Obama is expected to sign the $305 billion highway bill.
The five year bill allows for spending of around $205 billion on highways and $48 billion on transit projects. It is also the first transportation funding legislation to last longer than two years since 2005.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest commented “Infrastructure projects often — at least the most impactful ones — often will take years to build, and if the federal government is providing funding at increments of a few months at a time, it’s going to undermine their ability to effectively plan for the long-term.”
Obama has been a proponent of longer funding for infrastructure projects, as the administration originally proposed a six-year and $478 billion dollar highway bill earlier this year.
Earnest continued, “So we would actually view this legislation as a step in the right direction, but only a first step because we believe that there are more infrastructure projects that are worthy of funding that would create jobs in the short-term and lay a long-term foundation for our ongoing economic strength over the long-term.”
This bill benefits the construction industry by allocating funding over a longer period of time for projects to be completed. Without this, many states would lack the monies to begin projects or may be forced to downsize projects due to these fiscal constraints.
The process to receive funding begins with the interested entity submitting an application to the Secretary of Transportation, who can only give the grant to requests involving nationally significant highway and freight projects. With some exception, the grant amount must be at least $25,000,000.00 for these projects. The application is then submitted for Congressional approval.
ACT Ohio will continue to follow this process, and will offer updates if Ohio receives any of the aforementioned grant money.