Crucial infrastructure projects like the Route 4 Bridge could be threatened if Congress fails to pass a long-term highway bill
West Lebanon, NH – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) visited the Route 4 Bridge construction site in order to highlight the importance of immediately passing a long-term surface transportation bill in Congress. Across New Hampshire and around the country, local projects like the Route 4 Bridge construction could be threatened if Congress fails to pass legislation to preserve federal transportation funding.
In 2012, Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act to fund our country’s surface transportation network for two years, and it has since been extended one year beyond its original 2014 expiration. MAP-21 is set to expire at the end of July, which means funding for the federal Highway Trust Fund and projects around the country could run out of money right in the middle of summer, our country’s busiest construction season. During Monday’s tour, Kuster – along with state and city officials, business leaders, and project planners – called on her colleagues in Congress to immediately pass long-term legislation to prevent this funding shortfall, which not only threatens local construction projects, but also vital summer construction jobs that New Hampshire workers rely on.
“Throughout New Hampshire, construction workers are hard at work fixing our roads and bridges, and making improvements to our transportation infrastructure in order to improve safety and efficiency. We must ensure these projects can continue throughout the busy summer construction months and the rest of the year,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “We cannot put the safety of our drivers, or the livelihoods of our workers, in jeopardy because of partisan politics. I call on my colleagues to immediately bring a long-term bill to the floor, so we can ensure the funding for these projects does not run out.”
The Route 4 Bridge project was first started in 2013. After completion, the new steel beam bridge will improve access between West Lebanon and Hartford, VT, and it will eliminate congestion and detours that have delayed traffic for years throughout the area. During the tour, project officials gave an update on the status of the Route 4 bridge project, and Kuster outlined her own efforts in Washington to encourage passage of a long-term bill.
Congresswoman Kuster has long advocated for increased federal investment in New Hampshire’s transportation infrastructure. She has proposed legislative solutions for increasing cost-savings at the federal level in order to replenish the Trust Fund in years past and she has toured the I-93 construction project in Windham, the Route 10 bridge replacement project in Winchester, and the Broad Street Parkway project in Nashua to highlight the urgent need to pass responsible, long-term funding legislation to support these projects. Earlier this month, Kuster sent a letter to House Leadership urging them to bring a long-term surface transportation bill to the floor for immediate passage.