In the News

Report: Key design flaws in bridge that had deadly collapse — Designers overestimated the strength of a critical section of a Florida International University pedestrian bridge that collapsed, killing six people, and they underestimated the load on that same section, federal investigators reported Thursday.  Cracks that were observed in the bridge before it collapsed were consistent with those design errors, their report says. — Jennifer Kay for AP

With Election Over, Transportation Advocates Eye 2019 Battles — Last week’s elections had enough good news to keep up the spirits of transportation advocates — an effort to roll back a California gas tax hike failed, candidates promising to fix roads were elected as governors and dozens of local transportation ballot measures passed.  But there are still reasons for advocates to be concerned. — Daniel C. Vock for Governing — November 13, 2018

Colorado transportation funding faces winding road ahead — Colorado’s dance over dollars for transportation didn’t end on Election Day, when voters crushed two ballot questions that could have put billions into roads. — Joey bunch for The Journal — November 13, 2018

Bridging The Partisan Divide: Can Infrastructure Unite Democrats And Republicans? — The I-word is popping up again in Washington D.C.: infrastructure.  It’s one of the few issues on which President Trump and Democrats in Congress might be able to agree. Both sides say they’re willing to work together on a plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, transit and water systems. — David Schaper for NPR — November 12, 2018

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