Your May 19 Pre-Trip: House Dem hopes to block transportation patch

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. A House democrat from Oregon hopes to block Congress from passing a temporary, two-month patch that will prevent an interruption in federal transportation funding, according to The Hill. Current federal transportation funding is set to expire May 31, and the patch will extend funding through July. According to the report, Rep. Earl Blumenauer is filing an amendment to the measure that will prevent Republicans from passing another extension later this summer in an attempt to keep the focus on coming to a broader infrastructure measure.

2. Next year, driverless trucks guided by magnets and remote-controlled cranes will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting at California’s ports. According to Bloomberg, the “automated future is part of an efficiency drive at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.” The ports, Bloomberg said, have been losing market share to much smaller ports for nearly a decade because it takes days longer to unload a ship at Southern California’s ports.

3. A fiery crash involving two tractor-trailers and a tour bus has shut down traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike in Gloucester County, ABC 6 Action News has reported. The accident occurred at 3:30 this morning in the northbound lanes between exits 1 and 2, ABC said. ABC has more.

4. As the law that authorizes federal spending for transportation runs out at the end of the month, the U.S. Department of Transportation has warned state governors that there “could be a sharp cutoff in transportation funds to the states after the end of July,” the Hartford Courant reported. According to the Courant, Connecticut says it has funding in place for at least six months’ worth of projects if Congress fails to act in time.

5. A newly released study by the University of Minnesota Extension has found that losses in poultry production due to bird flu, or avian influenza, has cost about $310 million and counting. According to DL-Online, “Every million dollars in direct losses to producers has an estimated $1.8 million ripple effect of overall losses, including $450,000 in wages.”

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