Emmer Reintroduces Bill to Redirect Federal Money for Interchange and Intersection Improvements
Washington D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) reintroduced his legislation, the National Interchange/Intersection Safety Construction Program (NIISCP) Act, which prioritizes funding for intersections and interchanges, improves safety, and increases local control over federal transportation dollars.
The NIISCP Act will prioritize a portion of federal highway funds for interchange and intersection development, and allow projects to compete for those funds. This legislation will not increase spending or require additional appropriations, rather a portion of annual existing federal highway funds will be targeted for local entities to apply and compete. To be eligible for grants under the NIISCP Act, projects on the National Highway System are selected on a competitive basis and must be supported by local entities such as states, cities or counties.
“One of the government’s most essential jobs is to maintain efficient and safe transportation infrastructure,” said Emmer. “Unfortunately, we’ve fallen behind in this area, much to the detriment of the great state of Minnesota. The NIISCP Act puts local governments back in charge of how and where our tax dollars are spent in order to reduce accidents and save lives. Minnesotans know firsthand the insufficient interchanges and intersections on US 10, Highway 55 and I-94. This bill will not only set aside funds dedicated to making sure intersections and interchanges are safe, but it will also relieve congestion so Minnesotans can keep moving and our state’s businesses can grow and thrive.”
More than half of crashes that involve injuries occur at or near intersections. Deteriorating interchanges are not only responsible for needless injuries and deaths, they cost our country in lost economic development. Between 2014 and 2015, congestion costs in Minnesota increased 37.6 percent, according to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). The NIISCP Act not only addresses a very real and immediate need, it also increases congressional oversight by requiring a report from the Secretary detailing approved grants.
You can read the text of the NIISCP Act here and view a summary of the legislation here.