WASHINGTON, July 29 -- The office of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., issued the following news release:
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp released the following statement after the Senate passed a bill to extend the authorization of and replenish funding for the Highway Trust Fund, which helps pay for much-needed infrastructure projects in North Dakota. Had legislation not been passed, the Highway Trust Fund was expected to run out of money by the end of August.
From 1990 to 2012, traffic on our highways has increased 71 percent, and the wear and tear shows. Because North Dakotans are forced to drive on roads in need of repair, they are forced to pay $112 million - $237 per motorist - in vehicle operating costs per year.
"Today we voted to make sure our Highway Trust Fund has the resources to support much-needed infrastructure projects in North Dakota and across the country. Unfortunately, this is another short-term solution, so we must continue working on a long-term plan that will allow a country as great as ours have the highways and bridges the American people deserve," said Heitkamp.
"The Highway Trust Fund supports many important projects in North Dakota I have pushed for, including the expansion of US-85 from two to four lanes. As our population has grown, the increased use of highways and bridges in North Dakota has stressed our infrastructure to the max and increased safety concerns. Heavy traffic, particularly in the western part of the state, will only grow in coming years. As the oil patch continues to support America's need for energy, North Dakota's much-used ground transportation infrastructure requires increased attention--especially in rural areas and on our reservations. Infrastructure investments, which support good-paying jobs and help keep our people safe, have never been a partisan issue. It is my hope that Republicans will work with us on a long-term solution."
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