NEW FIVE-YEAR FEDERAL HIGHWAY BILL IS SENT TO PRESIDENT
Friday, December 4, 2015
This week, Congress passed a five-year surface transportation program reauthorization bill that will have another positive impact on Michigan’s heavy construction industry. The “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST Act) passed both chambers of Congress on December 3rd, and the President’s office has indicated that President Obama will sign it into law sometime on December 4th. The overall investment level is approximately $286 billion over five years, which is approximately a 15% increase overall, once fully implemented.
Similar to Michigan’s new road funding proposal, the federal bill does phase in the increases over the course of five years. For Michigan specifically, there is approximately a $50 million increase for the 2016 construction season from the federal bill, ramping up by the fifth year (2020) to a $150 million increase from 2015 levels. Total investment into Michigan’s transportation system from the federal government will rise from $1.016 billion in 2015 to $1.067 billion in 2016, $1.09 billion in 2017, $1.114 billion in 2018, $1.139 billion in 2019 and $1.166 billion in 2020.
In addition to increased investment from the feds, there are some significant reforms within the package that will give more flexibility to the state and local agencies when making decisions for specific projects. This includes streamlining many review and permitting processes, as well as giving state and local agencies the decision-making process to best meet the needs for individual communities. These reforms eliminate a lot of the bureaucratic red tape often involved when using federal dollars for road construction projects.
On the heels of the passage of last month’s state transportation funding increase of over $1.2 billion in additional investment annually once fully phased in, this is very good news for the future of Michigan’s heavy construction industry. The passage of both state and federal programs were a long time in coming, but are a testament to the industry’s relentless pursuit of adequate funding for infrastructure in Michigan.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at email@example.com. They can also be reached at the MITA office by calling 517-347-8336.