Jul 28 2005


Conference Agrees to $286.5 Billion Transportation Reauthorization Bill

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) today announced conference committee approval of H.R. 3, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The House is expected to vote on final passage tonight, and the Senate will consider the bill following House approval. This legislation, commonly referred to as the Highway Bill, authorizes $286.5 billion in funding for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, transit programs, and other purposes. Senator Shelby was a member of the Conference Committee.

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased we were able to reach agreement on this important piece of legislation. I believe that reauthorizing the Highway Bill is essential to developing and improving infrastructure which leads to economic development and job creation. I am also proud of the Banking Committee’s bipartisan effort to craft the transit title of the Highway Bill. It successfully balances the needs of growing states and rural states, and recognizes the unique demands of the transit-reliant public. Among many improvements, we have streamlined the FTA’s grant process, and created funding flexibility to allow for innovative technologies like Bus Rapid Transit. This bill will ensure that the country’s existing infrastructure continues to be funded, while allowing for the necessary growth to meet future needs. Further, this bill provides guidance and important funding for cities and states across the country to plan and construct important road, bridge, and highway safety projects in order to meet the needs of their growing communities” added Shelby, Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction of the transit portion of H.R. 3.

“Passage of the Highway Bill is significant as it provides Alabama with the tools to begin planning and construction of major road projects as well as maintain progress on ongoing projects. I am also pleased that we were able to include funding for a number of important regional projects as they will improve the state’s infrastructure on a large scale and have tremendous economic impact in the years to come,” Shelby added.

The projects included in this legislation will be disbursed to the State over the life of the bill.

Alabama State Port Authority, Choctaw Point Terminal - $20 million

Senator Shelby said, “The Alabama State Docks have the potential to become one of America's most economically viable ports in this century because of the proximity to emerging trade routes on the Gulf of Mexico. I am pleased that the bill provides $20 million in funding to continue to modernize this important asset to our state through expansion and construction of an intermodal containerized freight terminal.”

Mobile County Commission Bus Project - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the Mobile County Commission Bus Project to provide transportation alternatives to its citizens and visitors. I am pleased these funds were included in this legislation.”

Gulf Shores Community Bus Project - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that we secured funds for this important bus project in Gulf Shores. These funds will provide an important transportation option for those that live, work and vacation in the Gulf Shores area.”

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