WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) reintroduced the Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act today, which will support our national freight mobility network through investments in critical freight infrastructure.
The Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act (FIRA) of 2020 would create a sustainable national freight discretionary grant program, expanding on the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act signed into law in 2015. FIRA will provide grants for infrastructure projects across our national freight mobility network through a new National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Fund supported by a dedicated funding source – a one percent fee on the shipment of freight cargo. This program will invest in freight projects that improve the efficiency, capacity, and safety of our freight mobility system.
FIRA will support construction projects that make our roads and bridges safer and more resilient, improve marine terminals facilities, and expand rail and highway tunnels to accommodate increased cargo.
“Investments in our freight transportation system support our continued economic development by expanding our capacity to transport goods, encouraging competition, and providing job opportunities across the country,” said Congressman Smith. “Freight infrastructure is critical to our future economic growth and stimulates the demand for goods and services that will ultimately benefit millions of people.”
Statements of Support:
“The Pacific Northwest is one of the nation’s biggest trade gateways, and investments in transportation infrastructure are critical to our region’s economy,” said Kristin Meira, Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association. “Congressman Smith’s bill will help fund the maintenance and expansion of the rail, road and marine facilities that ensure our region's continued success in the global marketplace. We appreciate and support his efforts.”
Stephanie Bowman, Co-Chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance said, “A strong economy depends on an efficient freight system, especially in a state like Washington, where over 40 percent of jobs depend on trade. Congressman Smith’s proposal will enable much-needed investments in America’s ports, roads and rail networks. We appreciate his strong leadership and advocacy for freight.”
“A growing economy increases the burden on our nation’s freight network, across all modes. In order to accommodate this growth in demand for services, a robust campaign of infrastructure investment is necessary,” said Elaine Nessle, Executive Director of Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors. “Congressman Smith’s Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act of 2020 seeks to meet these challenges head-on by ensuring a dedicated and sustainable funding source for strategic investments in multimodal freight projects.”