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What Can Fund Transportation? We’re Glad You Asked

One of the questions that routinely comes up when discussing infrastructure—particularly transportation infrastructure—is how to fund it. While I don’t have all of the answers, members of the Infrastructure Council with lots of support from organizations across the U.S. were kind enough to share their thoughts on a variety of funding mechanisms with me. The result is an informative (though simple) document ...

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FAA Drones & Crude by Rail

The FAA has been very vocal against the wide-spread use of drones despite their slow rule-making efforts. No doubt it’s not an easy thing; no one wants a drone taking pictures of them in their backyard or worse, in their messy-not-expecting-guest-so-haven’t-cleaned-the-apartment high rise. I had a slight chuckle at the FAA saluting National Model Aviation Day last week due to the lines between hobby aircraf ...

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Short & Sweet

President Obama officially signed the $10.8B highway bill last Friday, ensuring that the HTF remains solvent for now. In the meantime we’re still in need of solid investment. Add Crain’s Chicago Business to the list of media outlets that is tired of making small plans when we need big plans. ...

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LaHood’s Honest Take & Chicago Trust

We’ll get back to our Friday updates soon, unless you prefer Monday mornings. If you’ve never met Ray LaHood, he’s honest and (in my experience) doesn’t dance around words. Given that, it’s no surprise to hear him call the bill passed by Congress “totally inadequate.” His opinions (while similar to many others) does not change the fact that federal highway funding cuts are called off—for now. It’s important ...

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HTF is Saved! Sort of

The HTF is saved! Well, sort of. Until Next year at least. While the final measure passed both chambers with broad support, a few members including Sen. Whitehouse of Rhode Island find the bill ‘pathetic’ while USDOT Sec Foxx was more diplomatic. The nearly $11B bill is good for ten months but was not without its share of drama. The Senate originally sent over a patch that would have only fixed the fund unt ...

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Quinn Signs $1.1b Into Law, Temporary HTF Fix

The Senate is expected to act on the temporary HTF fix next week. In the mean time here’s some articles on Congress not leading,11 USDOT secretaries, Joe Biden using a whiteboard, and one call for private business to pay for transportation improvements. With one week to go until the August recess, the chances are as close to 100% as you can get that the temporary fix will pass. Earlier this week Governor Qu ...

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Asian Carp & Colbert Comments on HTF

Earlier this week the Infrastructure Council was quoted in the Detroit Free Press about Asian Carp. The carp has reached status akin to that of the Jelly of the Month Club and is one of the issues we are constantly working on. We remain engaged on this issue through participation in advisory groups, and individual meetings with state and federal agencies. Earlier this week the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chica ...

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Conservatives Comment on HTF

On Tuesday of this week a number of national conservative groups sent a letter to the U.S. House & Senate about their wants for a surface transportation authorization.  Meanwhile newspapers across the country are calling for a fix to transportation funding.  Both the House and Senate are working toward a solution but it’s increasingly looking like the House GOP plan will win due to skepticism about the ...

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