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DOT to host ‘town hall’ on highway funding

In what Dept. of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx is billing as a “National Town Hall Meeting,” DOT on Aug. 6 will hold a forum to discuss ways to address long-term transportation infrastructure needs.

The meeting, which will be streamed over the web, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. DOT is inviting questions now via Twitter using the hashtag #InvestNow or by email at [email protected].

While DOT is glad Congress found a way to avoid an immediate crisis in transportation funding, “we – along with thousands of commuters, construction workers, freight shippers and manufacturers – know that it’s still not the long-term solution that America’s transportation system really needs,” Foxx said in an Aug. 4 post in DOT’s Fast Lane blog.

As of Tuesday morning, President Obama had yet to sign the 10-month transportation program extension, but the administration has made clear that it will do so. The urgency for Congress last week was its looming five-week break as the Highway Trust Fund was expected to become insolvent by the end of August.

The latest extension is the 28th in the last six years, Foxx noted in his blog post. “And the cumulative effect of these short-term measures is crushing our ability to keep up with the pressures on our national transportation system.  The truth is, Band-Aids can’t fill all the potholes and cracked pavement in your community’s roads, and they certainly can’t build new bridges, upgrade rail track, or replace aging buses.”

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