President Obama last Friday signed into law Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, known as MAP-21, a new $105 billion surface transportation bill that runs through the end of fiscal year 2014.
"I've been calling on Congress to take half the money we're no longer spending on war and use it to do some nation-building here at home," President Obama said. "There's work to be done building roads and bridges and wireless networks. There are hundreds of thousands of construction workers that are ready to do it... this is an outstanding piece of business."
State transportation departments had been operating on short-term extensions of the nation's last surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, since September 30, 2009.
MAP-21 includes many of the reforms and recommendations states have sought over the last few years. Some of those that made the cut include:
The bill extends the Highway Trust Fund and tax collections through FY 2016, which is two years beyond the reauthorization period. However, the Trust Fund as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office will face a deficit beginning in fiscal year 2015. This adds funding stability to the states over the next two federal fiscal years. Almost $19 billion in general funds will be transferred to the Highway Trust Fund over the life of the bill with multiple offsets to cover the transfer of those funds.
Additional AASHTO analysis on provisions in the bill is available at bit.ly/AASHTOmap21. Several other organizations have compiled analysis on MAP-21 and many are available bit.ly/MAP21summaries.
The Federal Transit Administration released on Thursday a new web site to assist states in MAP-21 implementation and guidance, available at bit.ly/FTAmap21.