WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today led a hearing on the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 and its implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. 

HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE AGENCY’S CONTINUED WORK TO CONNECT COMMUNITIES AND DRIVE OUR ECONOMY FORWARD:

Chairman Carper:

“The Federal Highway?Administration, as we know — and the?work?that?it does to strengthen our?world-class highway system — is?essential to ensuring that?both people and goods can get?where they need to go, when they?need to get there.”

Shailen Bhatt, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration:

“I believe that a transportation agency exists for two reasons: to save lives and to?make people's lives better.?The historic funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act is enabling projects that will do just that. FHWA has continued to make?significant progress in?advancing new programs and funding?projects to improve safety, reduce bottlenecks and?make our infrastructure more?resilient.?The President’s budget request for FHWA builds on this and will enable continued progress.”

ON THE AGENCY’S PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTING THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW AND INFLATION REDUCTION ACT:

Chairman Carper:

“Since the enactment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more than $128 billion … in highway and bridge formula funds from this law have been used to support more than 70,000 new projects across America … And these projects aren’t just rebuilding our roads and our bridges — they are creating literally tens of thousands of good-paying jobs across our country.

“In addition to the investments that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making to the Federal Highway Administration, the Inflation Reduction Act created three new programs at that agency. These new programs are helping to reconnect communities and neighborhoods while promoting use of lower-carbon construction materials, as well as providing resources to help expedite the environmental review process for transportation projects.”

Administrator Bhatt:

“One example that is emblematic of FHWA’s progress is the Brent Spence Bridge. When I was a college student I used to drive across that bridge, and I remember thinking it was very old. While serving at [the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet], funding for the bridge seemed decades away. During the Obama administration I served at FHWA, and I remember the Ohio delegation highlighting the funding needs. But, we were unable to move it forward. But now, we announced a grant award for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of that bridge in 2023 and completed the environmental review last month. And, this bridge is no longer a decades-away dream, but it is a reality.”

ON BUILDING OUT AMERICA’S ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE:

Chairman Carper:

“I want to …?[hear] more about what the?Federal Highway Administration?is doing to work with states to?accelerate the installation of EV charging infrastructure. What are the current challenges?and what more could be done to move?more quickly?”

Administrator Bhatt:

“We are working with every single?state … the President’s goal is 500,000 charging?ports by the end of the decade. We believe we are on track to hit that goal.?

“There’s about 183,000 [charging ports] out there available now. The vast?majority are private sector, there are?six states that have NEVI-funded chargers that are out the?door now …?We are on track for thousands?more charging ports to become available this?year and we will hit that target.”

Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s round of questions.

Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s opening statement.

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