Transportation officials in the US are working overtime to prepare for a new highway bill that will be the biggest and most ambitious since the highway bill signed by President George W. Bush in 2002.
The Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week, and the House is expected later this month.
Under the bill, which is due to be approved by the Senate and signed by the President on Friday, the US would have the highest number of interstates in the world.
The bill also would establish a $20 billion highway trust fund to fund transportation projects and to pay for transportation projects that don’t require federal funding.
“This is a massive investment in our infrastructure, and we’ve had the chance to work with states and localities to ensure the investments they’re making are as good as they can be,” said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
As part of the highway package, Foxx announced that the US Department at Large will create a $1 billion highway fund to pay to help fund construction of the new interstate highway system.
Other transportation officials, including former US Transportation Secretary Mary Schapiro, have called the plan a major step toward creating the world’s largest single highway network.
But the Highway Trust Fund has already been used to fund more than 200 billion dollars of projects around the world, including projects in Mexico and China, which together total about $40 billion.
For the US to have the world lead the way in transportation, the plan calls for $20 trillion in investment, a huge increase over the $11.5 trillion the Obama administration proposed for transportation in its first budget proposal in January.
Some of the $2 trillion in funding the plan includes includes $4 trillion for highway projects that have yet to begin, $1.5 billion for roads that are being built and $500 million to help states develop and fund transportation infrastructure.
But much of the money for highway construction will come from other sources, including tax revenues and new vehicle taxes, which will make up the bulk of the bill.
Transportation officials are also looking to the private sector to pay more for roads and transit, as well as the federal government to make up for the $1-trillion in infrastructure investments that have been lost to the Great Recession.
The $3.6 trillion highway package includes $2.6 billion for highways and $4.8 billion for transit.
At the same time, the government will get $2 billion to help cover the costs of projects that could cost up to $40 million to complete, including highway repairs and upgrades, road rehabilitation, and other projects that aren’t currently funded by the highway trust funds.
Foxx said the new highway fund will provide the government with the money it needs to build a $6 trillion infrastructure plan that will also help reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil, which currently accounts for about 10 percent of the US’s transportation budget.
The plan also will provide $2-trillions for infrastructure upgrades, such as the construction of new bridges, tunnels, and roads.
The new bill also contains some key provisions that have already been adopted by Congress, such the creation of a $3-trilion transportation bond, which would be used to pay off the bonds issued by the Highway Investment Trust Fund and to help offset the cost of the road and transit projects that are already being financed.
The new highway bond will be used for projects that cannot be financed through the Highway Safety Trust Fund, which has already held more than $3 trillion.
Currently, the highway bond is available only to states and the District of Columbia, which each have their own ways to fund highway projects.
The Highway Trust fund has been used by states to pay down their state and local debt and to fund other transportation projects.
The $1trillion highway fund is part of a package that includes $400 billion in transportation investments, including $250 billion for a nationwide high-speed rail system, $50 billion for new commuter rail and mass transit projects, and $100 billion for rail upgrades and mass-transit expansion.
Last month, the Federal Railroad Administration released the first phase of a report that identified a plan for how to get to $6.5 Trillion in federal investment in the next decade.
That $6 billion is in addition to $1 Trillion that the government has already committed to for infrastructure investments.
President Barack Obama has been working to increase investments in infrastructure, particularly transportation, since taking office.
But the highway plan is likely to be the most significant part of his administration’s infrastructure agenda.
The highway bill also will set the stage for a number of new initiatives, including a federal minimum wage, a federal income tax credit for families making up to six figures, and new financial aid for businesses that want to invest in green technologies.
There is still a long way to go, however.
A major road project that