DOT calls for increase in infrastructure investment to account for increase in miles driven

The Department of Transportation (DOT) said last week that Americans drove more than 220 billion miles in February, emphasizing the need for better highways and bridges.

The miles driven by Americans were up nearly three percent from Feb. 2014 and the second-highest ever driven in February.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the increased traffic points to the need to spend more money on the nation’s infrastructure.

“To keep our national highway system safe and less congested, the multi-year commitment of federal funding in the President’s ‘GROW AMERICA’ Act is the best investment we can make in keeping our nation’s economy strong,” Foxx said.

The long-term transportation bill, which DOT sent to Congress, includes $317 billion over six years for federal highway programs, nearly $12 billion more per year than under current law.

The “Beyond Traffic” report projects commercial truck shipments will climb by 43 percent and the U.S. population will grow by 70 million by 2045. The report examines the trends and choices facing America’s transportation infrastructure over the next three decades, including a rapidly growing population, increasing freight volume, demographic shifts in rural and urban areas, as well as a transportation system that’s facing more frequent extreme weather events. Increased gridlock nationwide can be expected unless changes are made.

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