Highway funding proposal totals $247 billion

United States Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta has unveiled the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003 (SAFETEA), a proposed six-year highway reauthorization plan totaling $247 billion.

Mineta said the administration’s proposal more than doubles financing for highway safety over those provided by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and serves as a framework for investments needed for the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

The proposal would create a new core-funding category dedicated to safety within the federal-aid highway program to increase visibility and funding beyond the current safety set-aside provisions.

The administration’s proposal also grants states broad new flexibility to transfer safety funds among programs administered by the department. It provides increased money for commercial vehicle safety and research programs, and expands and improves safety auditing of “New Entrant” motor carriers.

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