Today, Congressman Geoff Davis voted to support House passage of H.R. 4348, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), a bill that establishes federal transportation policy. The legislation resolved differences between House and Senate versions of the bill, and passed on a bipartisan vote of 373-52.
MAP-21 includes a provision for large-scale transportation Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS). This program provides an additional funding resource for mega-projects like the Brent Spence Bridge. States must apply to the U.S. Department of Transportation through a competitive process to receive PNRS funds. Projects will be evaluated based on proscribed criteria and funds awarded on the basis of merit.
"This legislation will help Kentucky address our infrastructure needs," Davis said. "While imperfect, the bill is fully paid for and includes important reforms that will streamline project delivery and reduce costs.
"The Projects of National and Regional Significance program is an essential mechanism to fund critical infrastructure projects that affect our nation as a whole, but have costs that exceed the transportation budgets of the State or States in which the project is located. The Brent Spence Bridge is a prime example of the kind of project this program is designed to support."
To be considered for PNRS, projects must have national and regional benefits, including improving economic productivity by facilitating international trade, relieving congestion and improving transportation safety by facilitating passenger and freight movement. Projects are eligible for PNRS funding if they are expected to cost $500 million or fifty percent of the federal highway assistance funds apportioned to the State where the project is located. Additionally, funds are available for these projects during the development phase activities, such as the design work and other preconstruction activities, and during the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation stages.
Congressman Davis has been a dedicated advocate for a PNRS program to support the Brent Spence Bridge project. Most recently, on May 22, 2012, Congressman Davis led a bipartisan, bicameral group of twenty-five legislators encouraging highway bill conferees to support the PNRS program.
To read more about Congressman Davis' efforts regarding the Brent Spence Bridge, visit http://geoffdavis.house.gov/legislation/bsb.htm.
H.R. 4348 is the first highway bill since 2005 and extends federal surface transportation funding until September 2014. The highway bill includes reforms that will streamline the transportation project approval process, and consolidate and eliminate federal transportation programs to provide States with more flexibility to direct needed funding to projects.
MAP-21 passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 74-19 and now heads to the President for signature.