Your Aug. 3 Pre-Trip: Obama blasts Congress over highway patch

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. President Barack Obama signed a three-month federal highway funding extension on Friday, and while doing so, he blasted lawmakers for failing to agree on a long-term measure, The Hill reports. According to The Hill, Obama told reporters: “We can’t keep on funding transportation by the seat of our pants. That’s just not how the greatest country [in the world] does business. I guarantee you that’s not how China, Germany and other countries around the world handle their infrastructure.” The $8 billion package extends infrastructure funding until Oct. 29.

2. Worn-out roads and congested highways in Massachusetts are continuing to worry business leaders about the delivery of goods, ability of employees to commute to work, and the overall appeal of doing business in the state, the Boston Globe reports. According to the Globe, “Plans are in the works to address many of the state’s problem roads and bridges, but the backlog is significant.” For many businesses, the main concern is the timely delivery of goods and services to customers, which can affect the business’s bottom line.

3. Pride Convenience Inc. is proposing to build a rest stop for truckers and motorists on I-91 northbound in Hartford, Conn., according to the Hartford Business Journal. State transportation and private trucking officials say the rest stop will provide “a much-needed, welcome solution to a statewide shortage of trucker rest areas.” The opening is set for July 4, 2016, and pending building permit approval and environmental clearances, construction should begin in September, according to the Business Journal.

4. Washington increased the state gas tax by 7 cents per gallon this past weekend. According to the Yakima Herald, the increase is the first of a two-step jump to pay for transportation projects across the state. “With state gas taxes now up to 44.5 cents a gallon, adding in the current federal tax of 18.4 cents, the total per gallon gas tax in Washington is 62.9 cents,” the Herald said. Next summer, the tax will increase an additional 4.9 cents, making it the second highest gas tax in the nation, according to the report.

5. Indiana state officials say the latest section of the state’s I-69 extension will be finished this year, Wane.com reports. The state’s transportation department planned to have the 27-mile section from the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center into Bloomington open to traffic in late 2014 before pushing it back because of weather and construction delays, Wane said. Wane.com has more.

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