After nearly a decade of short term emergency funding, Congress has now passed and the President has signed a major transportation, or highway bill. Kevin Rund follows transportation issues for Illinois Farm Bureau.
The freight infrastructure funding will help contruct intermodal projects, linking roads to rail and port terminals that should be a major benefit for agricultural transportation.
Since congress has eliminated the use of earmarks, the federal bill does not spell out specific projects to be funded, so it is up to each state to select projects, then seek funding from the over 300 billion dollars available
Rund says we could use a lot more funding to get our transportation infrastructure where it needs to be, but the new bill puts us in a much better funding position than we have been over the past decade where short term extensions did not provide the long term funding needed for major road and bridge projects.
Now, it’s up the State of Illinois to get it’s budget problems solved so the state can come up with matching funds for in-state projects.