Range Of Federal Programs Sees Cuts In Budget Deal
Spending on education, health, transportation and the environment took a big hit in the compromise budget deal agreed on last week, but accounting gimmicks also played a key role in the largest-ever cuts in U.S. domestic programs.The cuts were targeted at programs ranging from FEMA grants to first responders and high-speed-rail projects, to assistance for low-income mothers and children and community AIDS initiatives.
DOT criticized for vagueness on $9.5 billion in projects
Billions of dollars handed out to massive transportation projects under the stimulus bill were not vetted with clearly documented rationales, according to the government’s watchdog. The results of two General Accountability Office studies mirror concerns from a Center story published last year.
Central Corridor businesses to get additional support
An additional $3.3 million is being made available for businesses affected by construction of the Central Corridor light rail route, officials announced Wednesday. The Metropolitan Council, the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis and some private funders are now providing a total of $11.1 million in grants, forgivable loans and other support. Met Council Chair Susan Haigh said the Central Corridor project will promote economic growth along University Avenue when the trains are running, but she acknowledged the construction period presents challenges.
Wisconsin, Minnesota officials pledge support for Stillwater bridge
Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb and Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel were among the officials who attended a meeting of the St. Croix River Crossing Coalition in Stillwater on Friday morning. A non-profit group organized to advocate for the eventual replacement of the aging Stillwater lift bridge, the coalition invited area legislators and transportation officials to talk about the current status of the project and its prospects for funding.
Wisconsin State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf said the gathering gave Gottlieb, the state’s new transportation secretary, a chance to hear about the need for a new bridge and see the old bridge for the first time.
Transportation Symposium to Spotlight California’s Sustainability Leadership by Showcasing High-Speed and Light Rail Expansion
Transportation, developer, and construction industry innovators will descend upon Los Angeles April 21 to lead the USC Sustainability in Transportation Symposium. In addition to addressing aviation, ports and highways, the 17th Annual University of Southern California Symposium will delve into issues including parking and traffic to encourage greener transportation in California. The Symposium, to be held at the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live, is among the largest Earth Day-related events in the state.The Symposium will encourage companies to implement and expand sustainable construction and business practices in California transportation projects including electric vehicle infrastructure
Rail service plan for LAX still has hurdles
More than 15 years after the Green Line opened, an extension into the airport is being considered. But cost and logistical problems remain. The Green Line has long been called “the rail line to nowhere” — a route that goes from Norwalk to Redondo Beach and to within about 2.5 miles of Los Angeles International Airport’s passenger terminals, which can be reached by a roughly 15-minute shuttle ride.Now, 16 years after the Green Line opened, there is a push to expand rail service in the area. But to the dismay of some, getting the rail line into the airport still remains an uphill battle.
Federal budget spells good news for Ann Arbor’s Stadium bridges, bad news for high-speed rail
Historic spending cuts negotiated in the nation’s capital will leave intact a federal grant program expected to help fund replacement of Ann Arbor’s Stadium bridges, but President Barack Obama’s plan for a national high-speed rail network has been dealt a heavy blow.U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers has released a summary of the budget bill that will carry the federal government through the rest of fiscal year 2011.For the U.S. Department of Transportation, the bill eliminates new funding for high-speed rail and rescinds $400 million in previous year funds, for a total reduction of $2.9 billion, according to the summary. The bill also reduces funding for transit by $991 million, but preserves $528 million in funding for the TIGER grant program.
Detroit OKs funding for light railway
The Motor City took a big step toward expanding mass transit Monday, approving bonds and other funding for a light rail along Woodward. The City Council voted 8-0 to approve $125 million in bonds — $74 million for rail and the rest for buses and other improvements — and a $25 million federal Transit Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant.