In the News

Democrats eye push for infrastructure plan if they retake House — Democrats are planning to pursue a major U.S. transportation and infrastructure measure if they retake control of the U.S. House in the Nov. 6 midterm elections, but the same question that helped stall Donald Trump’s trillion-dollar initiative remains: How would it be funded? — The Daily World — October 30, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments In ‘Landmark’ Yakama Nation Gas Tax Case — Whether a Northwest Native tribe can legally transport goods and services across state lines is at the heart of arguments that will be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. In 1855, the Yakama Nation signed a treaty with the United States that expressly allows for free travel across state and tribal boundaries. This clause convinced the Yakama Nation that the owner of the Cougar Den gas station on the Yakama Reservation is legally allowed to transport gasoline from Oregon and sell it on the reservation without paying state taxes. In March, the Washington state Supreme Court agreed. But Washington state’s Department of Licensing still disagrees. — Emily Schwing for KUOW 97.9 — October 29, 2018

Rhetoric fuels debate over prospect of tolls’ return to Connecticut — It seems as if Connecticut’s been debating the reinstatement of highway tolls since soon after their removal in the 1980s. The current election season has been no exception, with Democratic and Republican candidates for the state legislature voicing positions adopted by their respective camps, the former generally supportive of “electronic tolls” and the latter dismissing them as “just another tax.” In state Senate debates sponsored by The Day, the sides differed over whether the state would lose federal funding if it implemented tolls on its interstate highways. Federal officials have confirmed that it would not. — Brian Hallenbeck for The Day — October 27, 2018

Annual Study Updates Impact Of Traffic Congestion On Job Access Within Major U.S. Cities — The latest research updates for an annual study overseen by the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota estimates the impact of traffic congestion on access to jobs indicates that Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco are now the top three U.S. metropolitan areas for “loss in job accessibility” due to traffic congestion. — AASHTO Journal — October 26, 2018

County experts talk more money for roads and bridges — Driving in traffic, running over a pothole or facing road closures.  “Our infrastructure has really gotten to the critical stage. We’re actually looking at some 60 year old roads that we are thinking of cutting back to dirt or gravel,” said Henry County Probate Judge David Money. — Lydia Nusbaum for WSFA12 News — October 25, 2018

How Would a Split Congress Deal with Infrastructure Bills? — Midterm election predictions at ENR press time give Democrats a decent chance of taking a House majority and Republicans retaining their Senate hold. That forecast isn’t a sure thing. But if it proves true on Nov. 6, construction views are split about whether a big infrastructure bill will fly in a divided Congress. — Tom Ichniowski for Engineering News-Record — October 24, 2018

Why not to bet on a $1 trillion infrastructure deal — President Donald Trump and key Democrats are talking about a possible grand bargain on infrastructure, with each side suggesting they could cooperate on a trillion dollar plan if control of the House flips next month. But basic math and the tortured history of past infrastructure initiatives suggest they are likely to be disappointed once again. — Tanya Snyder for Politico — October 22, 2018