Here are five things worth knowing today:
1. The outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest is taking a toll on trucking, according to Go by Truck News. “For every $1 million lost in poultry production, trucking loses approximately $24,000, according to Brigid Truck, an economic analyst at the University of Minnesota,” Go by Truck reports. Iowa and Minnesota have been hit hardest by the virus and lost nearly $1 billion, according to the story.
2. Central Oregon is seeing an increase in trucks hauling freight up and down Highway 97, The Bulletin reports. According to the report, the increase is likely due to an improving economy and growing population, which means a demand for more goods. Or, the increase could be from trucking companies’ deciding to use 97 over I-5, which the Oregon Department of Transportation is working on to improve traffic congestion, according to The Bulletin.
3. Truckers in Rhode Island feel they shouldn’t be responsible to pay for repairing the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges, according to WPRI. Earlier this week, Gov. Gina Raimondo proposed a plan that would increase the state’s infrastructure budget to $4.8 billion over the next 10 years. “As part of the proposal, the governor hopes to borrow $700 million to fix hundreds of crumbling bridges and roads, then pay the money back by tolling large commercial trucks on 20 of the state’s bridges,” WPRI reports. Local truck companies believe this will increase their costs and impact business with their consumers.
4. A California senator is considering the first gas tax increase in the state since the 1990s, CBS 13 in Sacramento reports. And, he is introducing a new tax on hybrid vehicles as well. According to the report, Sen. Jim Beall said the money needs to be raised for the nearly $60 billion backlog of maintenance and repairs on California’s roads.
5. Several Illinois environmental groups are suing the Federal Highway Administration and the Illinois and Indiana Departments of Transportation over the proposed Illiana Tollway, according to the Chicago Tribune. Environmentalists claim that the FHWA’s approval relied on “exaggerated population forecasts, faulty financial information and failed to adequately consider the environment,” according to the Tribune.