On August 10, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 69-30, passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes a 5-year reauthorization of Federal-Aid highway programs and an additional $110 billion in highway, roads, and bridge investments that will spark an infrastructure rebuilding boom lasting a decade. In addition to predictable funding for paving projects, the bill successfully advances several of NAPA’s priorities, as stated in its December 2020 “Build Back Better with Asphalt” package to the incoming Biden administration. These include:
• Reauthorization of the Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) program to continue
advancing the latest innovations, best practices, and technologies for constructing and maintaining high-quality, long-lasting
pavements valued at $30 million;
• Increased federal contributions to safety contingency funds to improve work zone safety, protecting workers and motorists from injury and fatalities during roadway construction projects using innovative contracting methods that enhance work zone safety;
• The absence of pavement type selection mandates, maintaining neutrality on highway pavement materials issues, leaving it to
individual state experts to determine the most cost-effective and efficient pavement type for each project.
The bill now heads back to the House of Representatives where Speaker Pelosi has repeatedly said that she will not bring the infrastructure bill up for a vote until the Senate passes the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that may take months to negotiate. Speculation that the House may want to reopen the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill dampened with the release of a statement by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) who indicated he would address climate change issues in the reconciliation bill. Once the final Senate bill is published, NAPA will link to the bill on its advocacy website. In the meantime, the Portman-Sinema amendment in the nature of a substitute can be found here. NAPA’s grassroots and advocacy plan is currently being updated and NAPA members will be kept apprised as the legislative process advances.
Want more information?
- NAPA’s press release highlighting the asphalt industry’s priorities.
- NAPA's summary of IIJA.
- State-by-state highway formula funding totals.
- U.S. Department of Transportation highway programs authorized by the bipartisan infrastructure agreement.