WASHINGTON, D.C. - - U.S. Congressman Kenny Hulshof announced today that the U.S. House of Representatives has approved $1.5 million for the proposed Highway 54 Expressway. The money is part of the highway reauthorization bill (H.R. 3550, the Transportation Equity Act - a Legacy for Users Act). The bill determines how federal highway monies are allocated to the states.
"As the Lake of the Ozarks continues to draw more tourists to the area, we must do all that we can to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to accommodate the increasing traffic," said Hulshof. "This money is a small, but important, step in accomplishing that goal."
"This is great news for everybody that enjoys the Lake of the Ozarks," said Jim Herfurth, Chairman of the Lake of the Ozarks Transportation Council. "It will help us accelerate the construction of the US 54 Expressway that we need to help us relieve the traffic congestion that has occurred at the Lake much faster than anticipated."
On February 12, 2004, the U.S. Senate approved its version of the highway bill, S. 1072, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA). The differences between the respective bills approved by the U.S. House and U.S. Senate will be reconciled by a joint House/Senate conference committee in the near future and again be submitted to both chambers for final approval.
"Today is an important first step in the effort to get needed funding for this important project. As the process moves forward in Congress, I will be working to retain this money for HWY 54. I am also committed to working with Senator Bond to ensure Missouri gets its fair share of federal highway dollars," concluded Hulshof.