Senator Collins to Chair Hearing on Improving the Nation’s Infrastructure

The hearing, titled “Investing in America: Funding our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure Needs,” is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8th, at 10:00 a.m.

Washington, D.C. — Deficient roads are costing motorists in Maine $1 billion annually in vehicle damage, congestion delays, and traffic crashes. In Portland, these costs can exceed $1,000 per motorist.

The Department of Transportation recently identified an $836 billion backlog of unmet needs for our nation’s highways and bridges and $100 billion in airport infrastructure needs over the next five years. While some progress has been made to reduce the percentage of bridges that are structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, the percentage of highways rated as “poor” quality has increased, particularly in rural areas.

The need to make additional investments in our transportation network will be the subject of a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee hearing led by Chairman U.S. Senator Susan Collins tomorrow, March 8th, at 10:00 a.m. At Senator Collins’ invitation, David Bernhardt, the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation and the President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, will testify.

The hearing, titled “Investing in America: Funding our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure Needs,” will explore various proposals to increase funding, leverage private resources, and make better use of existing federal resources to improve our infrastructure.

Deficient infrastructure harms the economy and costs American consumers billions of dollars each year. During the hearing, witnesses will discuss new and innovative methods to finance much-needed transportation projects, such as vehicle-miles-travelled user fees, passenger facility charges, public-private partnerships, tolling, and expansion of the TIFIA loan program.

Hearing witnesses will include:

  • Dave Bernhardt, Commissioner, Maine DOT, and President of AASHTO;
  • Jim Tymon, Chief Operating Office of AASHTO;
  • Todd Hauptli, President and CEO of AAAE;
  • Ed Mortimer, Executive Director of Transportation at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and
  • Beth Osborne, Director of Technical Assistance for Transportation of America (T4A)