May 17, 2005
U.S. Senator Kit Bond, chairman of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee, today hailed Senate passage of the federal highway bill and praised his colleagues for their bipartisan support to boost funding by $11 billion.
"Today�s action brings us one step closer in our efforts to increase safety, reduce fatalities and decrease congestion on our nation�s highways, as well as create more high-paying jobs across the country," said Bond. "Now we need to get to conference and get the job done. This process has taken too long. Our roads are in bad shape and we need a bill that has the resources to fix them. This bill does that."
Bond has been leading the fight in the Senate to reauthorize a new six-year transportation bill and last week worked with other Senators to boost the bill�s funding to $295 billion, up from $284 billion.
The increased funding level will result in more than $200 million in new dollars each year for Missouri. Under the bill, Missouri will receive $865 million each year, up from $661 million in the last transportation bill. In addition, there is $44 million included for a new Mississippi River bridge.
For years, Bond has fought to increase the return on the dollar that Missourians pay in federal transportation taxes. In the bill passed today, Bond has successfully fought to increase Missouri�s share to almost 98 cents on the dollar. In 1987, when Bond joined the Senate, Missourians received 76 cents on the dollar.
Bond stressed that there is a real need to pass a highway bill now. Recent studies show nearly 43,000 Americans lose their lives each year on America�s highways and that every $1 billion in new federal investment in highways will create 47,500 jobs.
"There is no doubt that Missouri and our nation need a new highway bill," said Bond. "Passage of this critical jobs and safety initiative is long overdue."
More on Bond's Efforts to Pass a Federal Highway Bill