Proposed changes to transportation bill could provide additional money to WYDOT

July 30, 2019

Proposed changes in the new surface transportation bill would provide additional funding for the Wyoming Department of Transportation and other state DOTs for future construction projects.

The U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is working to advance changes to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2020.

“Senator Barrasso has been a huge champion and I commend the committee’s efforts to improve the FAST Act and support vital improvements to our state’s transportation infrastructure,” Gov. Mark Gordon said.

WYDOT Director K. Luke Reiner said the proposed bill will help ensure WYDOT and other state DOTs continue to make vital transportation improvements.

“Chairman Barrasso’s legislation includes increased funding, so that we can better meet the transportation needs of people and businesses throughout Wyoming,” Reiner said. “Whether our highways are moving people driving to work or seeing the doctor, or tourists visiting our scenic state, or carrying commercial trucks full of groceries or cattle, under the legislation WYDOT will be able to do more to improve the route. Reforms in the bill will allow us to be more efficient – to complete work more promptly and with fewer regulatory costs. This legislation is extremely positive for Wyoming.”

The committee’s bill will focus on long-term funding by providing WYDOT and other DOTs with five-year highway and other transportation-related funding.

The increase is likely to be greatest in the first year, followed by smaller growth in the subsequent four years.

The bill would provide about 90 percent of its funding through formula, comparable to current law.

“As a member of the five rural state coalition, rural states like Wyoming and others prefer funding through established formulas like this as it is the quickest way to put money to work to improve infrastructure,” Reiner said. 

The bill requires work by the Finance (funding), Banking (transit) and Commerce (trucking and safety) committees before it could advance to the Senate as a complete surface transportation package.

If Congress passes the funding levels in the bill, it would provide $287 billion for highway infrastructure over five years. 

For additional information about this news release, contact Aimee Inama, senior Public Affairs specialist, at (307) 777-4013.