February Technical Speaker 1

Tech Session 1: "The State of Federal and Transportation Funding and Why It Is Important to Local Governments”  

Mr. Jim Webb, AICP, Chief Executive Officer, The Goodman Corporation, Bio

Hike and Bike Trails are becoming an integral part of Texas cities and provide some big benefits.  But there are a variety of options and challenges to be considered during their planning and design. This presentation will go over all of these aspects as well as some success stories and lessons learned.

Recent work completed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that $2 Trillion in funding is needed to bring our nation’s transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair. In response to this and other calls for action, local and state governments have been working towards approving new funding mechanisms to increase transportation revenues, exemplified via the State’s passage of Proposition 1 in 2014 and Proposition 7 in 2015. Additionally, there have been recent Congressional discussions of a nationwide transportation stimulus package and a potential increase to the federal motor fuel tax.

It is important to remember the role that federal-aid funding plays for local governments. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962 led to the creation of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, or MPOs, to foster transportation planning and direct the expenditure of these federal dollars for projects throughout a given region. In Texas, there are 25 MPOs, which program hundreds of millions of dollars annually for projects that directly impact local and regional transportation networks. Often these federal dollars are programmed to expedite the implementation of local government priorities to include road widening, reconstruction, bridge repair, freight rail improvements, and public transportation projects.


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