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Road repair backlog threatens state transportation budgets

Washington, D.C. — As winter weather takes a brutal toll on roads across the country, drivers are not the only ones facing a bumpy ride from potholes and rough roads: State departments of transportation (DOTs) could feel a painful shock to their long-term finances unless state decision makers reexamine spending priorities. Repair Priorities 2014, a new report from Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, looks at road conditions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as how state DOTs are investing in road repair versus expansion. Investing in repair, the report explains, can improve road conditions for drivers and the financial outlook of DOTs at the same time. 

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HNTB’s newest publication focuses on infrastructure delivery

Kansas City, Mo. — HNTB Corporation introduced a new publication, SOLVE, that is dedicated to thoughtfully exploring the delivery of America’s infrastructure. The first issue explores modern program management and how the transportation sector is using it to assess available funding, time and resources to successfully deliver large, highly complex programs and projects.

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Fitch: U.S. transportation trends demand new funding solutions

New York — Public transportation investment strategies will need to transform if trends toward increased multifamily housing, declines in driving, and increasing public transportation usage continue over the long run, Fitch Ratings says. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data showed a shift to more multifamily development in urban areas and that public transportation usage hit an all-time high. In Fitch’s view, the transportation needs of the next 50 years will be markedly different from those of the past 50 years. U.S. policymakers must begin adapting their current decisions to these future needs. If these trends persist and meaningful policy changes are not made, the risk to the public transportation system would have negative implications for the entire economy. 

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$600 Million available for sixth round of TIGER funding

ST. PAUL, Minn. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined President Barack Obama to announce that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. The announcement was made at the Union Depot in St. Paul, which received $35 million in the first round of TIGER to renovate the facility and restore tracks. 

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AASHTO: States, construction industry and economy at risk from insolvent trust fund

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The impending insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund poses a threat to state budgets, the construction industry and the overall economy that is real and that is even closer than originally estimated, according to Mike Hancock, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) president and secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 

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