Key Senate Committee Passes Highway Funding Bill That Includes Senator Markey Provisions
Provisions include funding to address climate change, programs to strengthen Massachusetts infrastructure
Washington (July 30, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) commended today’s passage of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act out of the Environment and Public Works Committee. The bill contains several key provisions and more funding that will benefit transportation infrastructure in Massachusetts, including $20 million per year for evacuation routes and an average of $653 million per year for bridge investment around the nation. The legislative package also includes $10 billion in a climate change title over five years that will fund mitigation and resilience programs, a major investment in addressing the impacts of climate change on the country’s infrastructure. Additionally, the bill contains new provisions on planning for improved safety and accessibility for pedestrians and bicycle users, cybersecurity standards, workforce programs, and carbon reduction.
“This legislative package provides welcome support to communities throughout Massachusetts that are suffering from crumbling roads and bridges, unsafe streets, and the unavoidable impacts of climate change,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “I am pleased that this bill includes several of my provisions to address climate impacts and gets us started on a path to fund infrastructure in a way that accounts for climate change. We must unlock more federal funding for green infrastructure so that we help make our communities safer, healthier, and more resilient. That is the formula necessary for America to lead the world into the 21st century economy, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen this bill before final passage.”
Senator Markey’s provisions incorporated into the Environment and Public Works Committee’s title of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Actinclude:
- Bridge Investment Act – authorizes a total $3.265 billion over five years in grants to large bridge projects, and includes language to provide a path for divestiture of federally-owned bridges such as those on Cape Cod;
- “Complete Streets” planning – includes language that states and metropolitan planning organizations shall set aside 2.5 percent of their highway funding for planning of projects that will improve safety and accessibility;
- Senator Markey’s ESCAPE Act – authorizes $20 million per year for evacuation route projects to improve resilience;
- Workforce development – authorizes funding to be used for workforce development activities related to surface transportation, including programs administered by labor unions and industry partnerships;
- Cybersecurity protections – requires the Federal Highway Administration to develop a tool to assist transportation authorities in identifying, detecting, protection against, responding to, and recovering from cyber incidents.