Hoeven: Senate Passes Six-Year Highway Bill, Measure Includes More than $1.6 Billion for North Dakota Roads

Bill Funds Infrastructure Projects, Doesn't Raise Taxes or Increase the Deficit

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven announced that the new six-year highway bill the Senate passed today will provide North Dakota with more than $1.6 billion and enable 159 North Dakota transportation projects to advance. The formula is favorable to North Dakota and increases highway funding for the state to $270 million, about $30 million a year more than it currently receives.

The Senate also passed a 90-day, short-term House measure that extends highway funding until October 29 while the two chambers work to finalize a long-term bill.

The Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act reauthorizes the nation’s transportation programs for six years. The six-year Senate bill provides $350 billion in contract authority for the 2015-2021 period. The measure makes up for a lack of highway trust fund revenues by adding about $45 billion in offsets. The bill does not increase the deficit or increase taxes. 

“These investments will create new jobs, provide a sustained boost to our nation’s economy, and help keep America and North Dakota competitive in the global marketplace,” Hoeven said. “The total highway formula funding for North Dakota over six years would be more than $1.6 billion, excluding additional transit and transportation safety funding. It will make possible 159 North Dakota transportation projects that were formerly at risk, and importantly, it does so without raising taxes or increasing the deficit.”

DRIVE Act Highlights for North Dakota:

  • Increases Transportation Funding for North Dakota by maintaining the federal aid highway formula structure and increasing the amount each state will receive every year:
    • North Dakota will receive an average of $270 million a year in highway formula funding over six years, an average of $30 million more than the state receives today.
    • Makes completing transportation projects easier by making National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) reforms, cutting red tape.
    • Provides six years of increased funding, giving state and local governments the certainty and stability they need to improve and develop our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
  • Increases Transit Funding to North Dakota by approximately $1 million a year, increasing from more than $14 million in the first year to more than $17 million by the sixth year. Overall, the bill increases public transportation funding nearly $1.5 billion over MAP-21 levels.
  • Improves Safety:  The bill’s safety and regulatory title makes important enhancements for safer highways as well as freight and passenger rail service through effective implementation of new technologies, new tools for federal safety watchdog agencies, reforming grant programs for states and transparency that promotes accountability.
  • Includes a New National Freight Strategy and Strategic Plan to improve freight transportation networks that serve agriculture, retail, manufacturing and energy sectors.
  • Includes the Federal Permitting Improvement Act to improve the permitting process for major capital (more than $200 million in investment) projects across sectors, including energy.
  • Assistance for Major Projects (AMP) Program to provide grants for large projects of national or regional significance and includes at least a 20 percent set aside for rural areas.