Highway bill nears deadline; issues remain unresolved

| 6/29/2005

The latest extension of the federal Highway Bill expires Thursday, June 30, but members of the House and Senate conference committee are still negotiating several key issues.

Two of the big issues – how much of the bill’s funding is covered by state equity calculations and the division of earmarked funds for highway projects between the House and the Senate – have yet to be unresolved.

Another unresolved difference between the House and Senate versions is whether to include a mandatory fuel surcharge for truckload freight. The House included the provision in its version of the bill but the Senate did not.

If a resolution on the entire bill isn’t reached by Thursday, the bill could be extended for an eighth time. The first extension came in September 2003 when the funding cycle of the existing highway bill expired.