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Truckers Hit With 40% Toll Hike In Illinois And It Gets Worse

Posted on Feb 1, 2015 in Finance, Interstate

    Any truckers living or driving in Illinois are in for a nasty New Year’s surprise as the Illinois Tollway tolls skyrocketed by 40% on January 1st. The bad news doesn’t stop there however. In addition to the 40% hike this year, truckers will see two more 10% toll increases over the next two years. Then, in 2018, automatic tolls hikes will be indexed to inflation. While there’s no toll hike for regular passenger cars this time around, the truck-only fare increases are coming three years after a similar toll hike for four-wheelers. The increase in tolls is part of an effort to pay for the largest rebuilding and expansion program in the history of the highway system. The $12 billion Move Illinois program is aiming to expand tollways, interstates, and other high-volume roads in Illinois over the...

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Highway funding action hot of late: Foxx tells Congress to hell with politics; Lawmakers readying proposals

Posted on Feb 1, 2015 in Interstate

  Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx pleaded with members of the Senate this week to discontinue the trend of short-term highway funding patches in favor of long-term bills as a means to restore trust among state and local governments and to give U.S. roadways the funding they need. His remarks came at a hearing by the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works committee held Wednesday, where committee members took testimony on highway funding. “To hell with politics,” he said. “In order for the system to be as good as the American people, we must do something dramatic.” Foxx’s push was part of a flurry of highway funding activity this week, with all roads leading to the May 31 deadline of the latest highway funding patch — a 10-month extension of 2012’s MAP-21 that Congress passed when attempts at longer bills...

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New Infrastructure Bill Coming

Posted on Feb 1, 2015 in Interstate

  Sen. Bernie Sanders, incoming ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, has announced his plans to introduce a new infrastructure funding bill in Congress. The bill would authorize $1 trillion in infrastructure spending over the course of several years. Sanders’ announcement did not outline the source of the funding. However, he claims the bill will create 13 million jobs. Read...

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Highway safety: We must be doing something right

Posted on Dec 31, 2014 in Interstate, Safety

  So the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its 2013 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data that painted a very interesting picture of U.S. highway safety: namely, that fatalities due to vehicle crashes marked a decade of decline. According to the agency’s data, highway fatalities overall decreased 3.1% between 2012 and 2013 – falling to 32,719 – with injuries due to vehicular crashes down 2.1% to 2.31 million. More importantly, NHTSA’s data indicates highway fatalities due to crashes are down 25% overall compared to 2004 – a general decline in fatalities that gained strength in 2006 and continued unabated except for 2012, when overall fatalities jumped by 3.3% or 1,082 more deaths. But even that increase is somewhat misleading as NHTSA noted that 72% of those 1,082 additional fatalities not only occurred in the first quarter...

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Study Labels Some Highway Projects a Boondoggle

Posted on Sep 20, 2014 in Finance, Interstate

  A new report by a consumer lobby group has identified what it says are nearly a dozen highway spending projects in the U.S. it characterizes as “boondoggles.” The U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future explains how the 11 projects, costing at least $13 billion, are based on what it says are driving forecasts that are out of synch with the decade-long trend toward less driving. “Americans have been driving less, but state and federal governments are still spending billions of dollars on highway expansion projects based on outdated and obsolete assumptions,” said Phineas Baxandall, senior analyst at U.S. PIRG and a co-author of the report. “The time has come to shift our resources to invest in 21st century priorities, like fixing our roads and bridges and providing more Americans with a...

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Niagara Bridge Agency Sells Debt to Improve Crossing

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 in Finance, Interstate

  The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, which runs three crossings over the natural wonder, is raising money through municipal bonds for the first time in two decades to improve the entry into New York from Canada. The sale this week of $31 million in tax-free debt would help kickstart a project to modernize the U.S. customs area in Lewiston, New York, said Victor Montalbo, the commission’s manager of administration and finance. About 168,000 U.S.-bound cars, trucks, recreational vehicles and buses crossed the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge last month, according to the commission. “You’ve got millions and millions of dollars of trade coming in there every day,” Montalbo said from Lewiston. “You want to make sure that it can get in. You want to make sure it’s an efficient crossing.” The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, which runs three crossings over the natural...

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