Interstate Bridge Collapses in California, Highlights Slow Movement of Highway Bill

Last weekend, a bridge collapsed on Interstate 10 in California, 40 miles west of the Arizona Border and the highway is expected to remain closed until emergency repairs allow for a partial reopening next weekend. Interstate 10 is the primary route for over-the-road freight moving inland from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, and handles approximately 54,000 vehicles per day near the location of the bridge collapse. The collapsed roadway was the result of sudden rains and surging floodwaters eroding soil under the concrete anchors that support the roadway.

Critics of Congress note the potential for accidents such as the California bridge collapse to occur at any time on the National Interstate Highway system, a reality that imperils motor vehicle users and the national economy. Congress has been slow to consider long-term infrastructure legislation and measures to make secure the financing of the Highway Trust Fund, which is used to fund national roadway maintenance and improvements. The current funding for the Highway Trust Fund expires on July 31st, and it is likely that Congress will extend that funding, and authorizations for Surface Transportation Programs, through the end of December 2015.

There are many active voices in Washington, D.C. that are advocating for changes and improvements in federal highway programs. TIA’s Government Affairs team is your voice on Capitol Hill and is leading the charge for long-term solutions that do not place burdensome regulations on the marketplace. For more information on the current status of legislative proposals for federal highway programs, please contact the TIA Government Affairs team at 703-299-5700.