Graves issues statement on introduction of long-term highway bill

U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement Tuesday after introducing the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act, a six-year federal Highway Bill. Graves is the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, which has jurisdiction over national highway policy.

“A modern and efficient transportation system is critical to everything we do in this country,” Rep. Graves said. “But state and local governments cannot make the necessary investments in infrastructure without a long-term federal Highway Bill.”

“In Missouri alone, we have over 35,000 highway miles and 10,000 roadway bridges that need our attention,” Rep. Graves continued. “Each state must be given the certainty to plan these projects with confidence, and this bill will do just that.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 will reauthorize federal highway programs for six years. Specifically, the bill targets duplicative regulatory processes, streamlines environmental reviews for highway projects, and maintains that 15% of a state’s federal highway funding must be used on the maintenance and restoration of rural bridges.

The long-term Highway Bill also includes a pilot program that will examine the viability of “user-fee” measures, which will help keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent as gasoline usage in automobiles continues to evolve.