90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Gas Taxes, Road Repair And The U.S. Infrastructure Crisis

The nation’s Highway trust fund is running out of money. Congress can’t agree on a solution. How do we keep America’s roads and bridges up and running?

This photo taken April 14, 2014 shows one section of the $500 million I-75 Phase II modernization project which is under way in Dayton, Ohio. On the road in a tour bus this week, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is urging Congress to quickly approve legislation to pay for highway and transit programs amid warnings that the U.S. government’s Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke. (AP)

This photo taken April 14, 2014 shows one section of the $500 million I-75 Phase II modernization project which is under way in Dayton, Ohio. On the road in a tour bus this week, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is urging Congress to quickly approve legislation to pay for highway and transit programs amid warnings that the U.S. government’s Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke. (AP)

The World Cup has a lot of people looking at Brazil’s overwhelmed infrastructure with dismay.  Check out the 214-mile traffic jam around Sao Paolo.  But then look home, to the USA.  Pothole-palooza.  Sixty-three thousand bridges in need of significant repair.  Delaware, with its leaning interstate bridge tangling up I-95.  Seattle, with its I-5 span in the river.  This summer, the US federal fund supporting road and bridge repair is going broke.  Congress can’t agree – surprise, surprise – on how to replenish it.  This hour On Point:  road and bridge infrastructure in the USA in trouble.  Who will pay to rebuild?

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Robert Puentes, senior fellow and director of the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program’s Infrastructure Initiative. (@rpuentes)

Emily Goff, policy analyst on transportation and infrastructure at the Heritage Foundation. (@emilyjgoff)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), member of the US House of Representatives for Oregon’s fourth district. (@RepPeterDeFazio)

Michael Lewis, director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.

From Tom’s Reading List

MSNBC: Highway Trust Fund at risk due to congressional gridlock — “Unless Congress acts, the federal Highway Trust Fund will run out of money by the end of September, which risks stopping or slowing infrastructure projects across the country and keeping new ones from getting off the ground. And that means more frustration, wasted gas, and potential accidents for the nation’s drivers.”

The Oregonian: Rep. Peter DeFazio: Replace federal gas tax with per-barrel tax on oil companies — “Transportation funding has become a major battleground in Congress as the federal highway fund is running out of money.  The federal gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1993 and officials warn that the federal government will soon stop helping fund new projects unless additional money is found.'”

POLITICO: House GOP debuts housing and transportation bill – “Total resources in the transportation and housing bill add up to more than $105 billion, when highway and transit trust funds are counted. But most of the action is focused on a smaller universe of about $52 billion for discretionary grant programs and the daily operations of the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The estimated $17.1 billion appropriation for DOT is about $727.3 million less than was enacted January, and HUD’s $40.3 billion budget reflects a $769 million cut of its own compared to current appropriations.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 26, 2014
Getting together with your family and loved ones at Thanksgiving and the holidays doesn't have to lead to  arguments and fights. (Meg Hunt / Flickr)

The Thanksgiving get-together and all the family drama trimmings. Sage advice from advice columnists.

Nov 26, 2014
A 1597 map of Lesbos / Mytilene, Greece by Giacomo Franco. (Flickr / Creative Commons)

How Aristotle invented science. The great ancient Greek, and life on Earth.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 25, 2014
A 40-pound tom turkey looks out at Raymond's Turkey Farm in Methuen, Mass., Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. The farm raises approximately 20,000 Broad Breasted White Holland turkeys per year. (AP)

We’ll talk turkey and all the sides. Top chefs join us to answer your Thanksgiving questions.

 
Nov 25, 2014
A protester squirts lighter fluid on a police car as the car windows are shuttered near the Ferguson Police Department after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

Grand Jury decision out of Ferguson — no indictment. We’re on the ground with the latest details and reaction.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Last-Minute Thanksgiving Luxury
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Our three Thanksgiving chefs offer up their best bets for delicious, last-minute holiday helpers, including a crunchy celery salad and maple glazed carrots.

More »
Comment
 
Calling All Interns, Calling All Interns
Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Have you ever thought about interning with On Point Radio? Good news: your time is now!

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment