When he signed a five-year transportation funding bill on Friday, President Barack Obama sent America one singular message: Keep on truckin'.
Apologies to R. Crumb, but we're having a bit of a nostalgia fit. It has been more than a decade since the president and Congress worked together to successfully pass a long-term transportation bill. After years of stopgaps and half-measures, the nation finally has a $305 billion bill to fund roads, bridges and rail. The bill places a specific focus on updating the nation's freight network to link rail and port hubs with the highway system. That's where the actual truckin' comes in.
The bill will expand the national freight network from 27,000 miles to 41,000 miles, specifically targeting those last-mile connections between roadways and intermodal terminals, such as ports. And for the first time ever, federal funds will be made available through the Highway Trust Fund for multimodal freight projects like rail-highway grade separation and on-dock rail at ports, according to the Journal of Commerce.