House Considering Short-Term Extension of MAP-21

AASHTO Journal, 6 June 2014

According to multiple news sources, House leaders are working on a proposal that would extend current surface transportation bill MAP-21 in the short-term, providing a financial boost to the Highway Trust Fund by eliminating “the mandate for full 6-day postal delivery service.”

While MAP-21 is set to expire on Sept. 30, the HTF is scheduled to run out of necessary funds before that date. According to the latest projections by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the HTF is on track to drop below the critical balance of $4 billion at the end of July, only to fall into the red before MAP-21 expiration (see related AASHTO Journal story here). The House proposal would essentially extend MAP-21 through May 2015 to allow Congress to agree on a single, long-term measure.

The state of the HTF has been a top concern for state transportation departments, which make project commitments based on the promise that the federal government and the HTF will reimburse them for the federal share of projects.

At the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Spring Meeting last week, the organization’s Board of Directors called for quick action by Congress to “ensure the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund prior to Federal Highway Administration delaying reimbursements to state DOTs” through its top resolution (see related AASHTO Journal story here).

It is not yet clear when the details of this proposal will be made public.

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