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Maloney Announces Key Transportation Measures in House Surface Transportation Bill

Oct 22, 2015
Press Release
Maloney’s Work on Public-Private Partnerships, Highway-Rail Grade Crossing and Safe Bridges Provisions All Included in STRRA

Washington, DC — Following today’s mark-up of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (STRRA), Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced several of his major legislative measures will be included in the bill. Maloney’s Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Investment Act, Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Act of 2015, and Safe Bridges Investment Act were all included in the base text of the bill. Maloney, seen as one of the top Public Private Partnership (P3) experts in Congress, has been fighting for these priorities for the past year which will improve the Hudson Valley’s infrastructure, grow the economy, and enhance the safety of commuters and travelers in New York.


“Since day one, I’ve worked across the aisle with local, state, and federal officials to make these critical investments in infrastructure that strengthen our communities, grow our economy, and create jobs. The provisions I authored in this legislation continue that commitment to delivering results for the Hudson Valley,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “I’m happy that these provisions have been included because each of them will make life better for my friends and neighbors in the Hudson Valley.”


“When I was working in the Governor’s office and in the private sector, I spearheaded initiatives to develop Public-Private Partnerships, because these creative partnerships are a win-win; they allow us to make strategic investments in transportation and infrastructure while lowering costs for tax payers,” said Rep. Maloney. “This bill will unlock badly-needed resources to improve the roads, bridges and rail lines which New Yorkers rely on.”  


“As we saw earlier this year in the tragic Valhalla Metro-North accident, there are currently hundreds of high-hazard, dangerous rail crossings in New York that need significant improvements,” said Rep. Maloney. “My legislation included in this bill will invest in local communities, giving them the resources they need to upgrade and enhance the safety of rail crossings.”


“My provisions to invest in so-called ‘off-system’ bridges will unlock billions in federal investments to make critical repairs and improvements to the local bridges families in the Hudson Valley use every single day to get to school and work,” said Rep. Maloney. “These bridges have been forgotten for too long, we must do more to ensure their safety.”


Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Investment Act

Maloney’s breakthrough Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Investment Act would allow for faster and more efficient investment in crucial transportation and infrastructure projects around the country. In the past, public-private partnerships, known as P3s, have provided innovative funding solutions for infrastructure projects by linking public investments with private sector resources and efficiencies. 


In addition to serving on the exclusive Public-Private Partnership Panel for the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Maloney has a long history fostering government and private sector cooperation.


Rep. Maloney’s bill would modernize and improve the coordination between the government and private sector by creating an office within the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to assist modal agencies, states, and other grant recipients on implementing design-bid-build, design-build, and P3 procurement best practices, developing P3 model contracts, and accessing federal loan and loan guarantee programs. By serving as a one-stop shop, this important resource will guarantee states like New York are able to better utilize P3s to improve and invest in their critical infrastructure.


Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Act of 2015

The Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Act of 2015 will help states and communities make safety upgrades at dangerous highway-rail grade crossings. Each year, nearly 270 people are killed at such grade crossings. This bill provides states and communities with more resources to prevent collisions at grade crossings and invest in protective safety devices to prevent future tragedies. By building bridges and tunnels to separate roadways from rail track, by installing improved lights and signals at crossings, and by increasing public awareness of grade crossing dangers, states and communities can take significant steps toward making highway-rail grade crossings safer.


Safe Bridges Investment Act

Maloney’s Safe Bridges Investment Act would provide counties and municipalities with the funds they desperately need to fix so-called “off-system” bridges. More than a third of New York’s bridges are labeled as either “functionally obsolete,” meaning they cannot handle current traffic demand, or “structurally deficient,” meaning they require significant maintenance to remain in service and will eventually require total rehabilitation.


Off-system bridges, bridges owned by counties or municipalities, were initially excluded from the federal National Highway System and thus from receiving federal funding. In 2012, a federal transportation bill called MAP-21 became law, eliminating the Highway Bridge Program, which shifted the program’s funding to the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP). However, funding for the National Highway Performance Program only supports projects on the National Highway System (NHS), which excludes 77% of the country’s bridges. 


Restricting these dollars for use on a very limited number of bridges is detrimental to the vast majority of our nation’s bridges.  Limiting this funding to the projects eligible under the National Highway Performance Program creates a disparity that endangers the safety of citizens in urban and rural communities across the county.  The bill would restore funding eligibility to these bridges regardless of their designation.


According to the New York State Department of Transportation, more than one-third of New York State’s 17,000 bridges are in need of repair, with 2,016 graded as structurally deficient and 4,735 graded as functionally obsolete.


In the Hudson Valley, there are a total of 1,904 bridges and of these, 206 are structurally deficient bridges and 749 are functionally obsolete bridges.



























The text of Rep. Maloney’s provisions can be found here