WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate late Thursday approved a $305 billion bill aimed at fixing many of the nation's crumbling roads, bridges and tunnels over the next five years. The bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 83 to 16, now heads to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.
The legislation is the first long-term highway funding bill Congress has approved in a decade.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, was one of the lead negotiators of the highway bill.
"Because of this bill, we’re going to provide states and communities with over $300 billion over five years to repair the roads and bridges of this country and greatly improve rail and port projects," Nelson said on the Senate floor following passage of the measure. "And, as a result, we are going to create jobs."
"In my state of Florida, this translates to $12 billion that can be used for improvements on Interstates 95, Interstate 75 and the projects such as SunRail, Tri-Rail and the streetcars in Fort Lauderdale," he added.