Transportation officials petition Congress for funding

JACKSON — Transportation officials across the Southeast are calling for Congress to take action to secure funding for federal highway and transportation programs. The current transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, is set to expire Sept. 30.

“Long-term, sustainable transportation funding is essential for the economic growth of our nation,” said Melinda McGrath, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. “Mississippi received approximately $475 million for projects in 2011.”

Yesterday in Louisville, Ky., the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) held its annual Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) meeting.

Susan Martinovich, director of the Nevada Department of Transportation and president of AASHTO, along with other transportation leaders, attended SASHTO and held a press conference at the annual meeting. The press conference stressed the importance of Congress acting to promptly reauthorize the transportation bill, known as SAFETEA-LU, and to ensure that the 18.4 cents per gallon gasoline tax that funds federal highway and transit programs continues to be deposited in the Highway Trust Fund.

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