The nine-month revenue extender that Congress passed on August 1 to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent until May 2015 also reduces pressure on Congress to pass a substantive Highway Bill before the current “MAP-21” highway funding and federal cost-sharing authorization expires at the end of September, or before this coming spring.
Moving the process beyond mid-November favors a fair consideration of truck weight reform along the lines of the Safe & Efficient Transportation Act (HR 612), since by that time the Department of Transportation Study team is scheduled to deliver its Final Report to Congress on the impacts of more productive trucks on roads, bridges, public safety, and the competitive position of other transportation modes. We believe that Report’s conclusions will be favorable to truck weight reform along the lines of SETA.
In the meantime, we are awaiting the imminent release of that Study’s “Technical Report,” which should reveal the DOT Study Team’s basic interpretation of the data it has examined and provide an idea of what to expect from the Final Report. More at this link.