Highway Bill, Truck Weight Reform Move Forward in House

Publish Date: 
January 31, 2012

Rockville, MD – AgHaul, the Agriculture and Forestry Transportation Reform Coalition, strongly praised the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s January 31 release of a proposed Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill that not only offers a five-year program of infrastucture improvements but includes robust terms for reforming truck weight limits on the federal Interstate system.

A proposed Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill that not only offers a five-year program of infrastucture improvements but includes robust terms for reforming truck weight limits on the federal Interstate system

“The truck-weight provisions are exactly what our forest and farm communities have been hoping for,” stated AgHaul Chair Mike Branch. “Giving each state the right to opt in to a 97,000-pound, 6-axle truck configuration will help us move the raw material that can boost our basic industries toward recovery.”

The “Chairman’s Mark” of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill is the legislative draft endorsed by House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Florida) and will serve as the Committee’s basis for developing a comprehensive five-year road, rail, and waterway infrastructure plan. It contains the essential terms of the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (HR 763), which AgHaul and other trucking and shipping interests have advocated for the past three years.

One of the great advantages of SETA’s truck weight reform is that it does not impose costs on the federal Treasury or draw down the Highway Trust Fund. “The Chairman has included a reform that brings U.S. freight movement closer to parity with our competitors in Europe and Canada,” added Branch, “and best of all, numerous studies and practical experience have proven the recommended configuration safe and easy on pavement.”

The Committee is scheduled to mark up the bill and report its recommendation for a floor vote in early February. If the House is able to pass a Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill, with the means to fund it, that will set the stage for negotiations with the Senate.

AgHaul represents 105 agriculture and forestry businesses and associations. Its mission is to improve the efficiency of transporting raw, unprocessed agricultural and forest products from farms and forests to processing facilities. For more information on AgHaul, visit www.ag-haul.org.
 

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