ND Senators: Highway Bill Moves Nation Forward in Right Direction
Bill Provides More Than $527 Million for North Dakota's Highways, Roads and Bridges
Washington — Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven today welcomed Senate passage of bipartisan legislation reauthorizing America’s federal highway and surface transportation programs. The legislation known as MAP-21 — Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century — holds federal spending at current levels and will provide more than $527 million over the next two years to support North Dakota highways, roads and bridges.
“This bill makes the infrastructure investment our nation so desperately needs. For North Dakota, it means new roads, new bridges and an improved public transportation system,” Senator Conrad said. “It is a real investment that will mean additional jobs for North Dakota.”
“Between our regular highway funding and DOT Emergency Relief Program funding, this fully-paid for authorization will provide North Dakota with record dollars,” Senator Hoeven said. “It will help us both to recover from severe flooding in the state, and also help to address much-needed infrastructure needs in western North Dakota.”
Passage of the two-year, $109 billion highway bill provides greater certainty for North Dakota and other states across the nation that have been operating under a series of small extensions since 2009, making it difficult for states to plan investments. This two year plan gives North Dakota greater ability to plan and execute highway projects.
Specifically, MAP-21 maintains strong funding for North Dakota under the federal highway program. The state will receive $261.5 million in FY12 and $266 million in FY13. North Dakota will also receive an additional $12 million in FY12 and $12 million in FY13 for transit programs.
The senators noted that this legislation would help address the infrastructure needs in western North Dakota, where additional stress and traffic on roadways has made getting state energy and agriculture products to market a challenge.
In addition, MAP-21 includes a provision eliminating the $100 million per event cap under the Emergency Relief program for future disasters.
At a national level, MAP-21 makes dramatic changes by consolidating the number of federal transportation programs by two-thirds, from about 90 programs down to less than 30, to focus resources on key national goals and reduce duplicative programs.
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