ACT NOW: Save the Largest Federal Source of Historic Preservation Dollars!
This just in from Preservation Action: contact your U.S. Senators TODAY to ask them to vote “NO” on amendment #821 to S.1596, which would redirect funding for the Transportation Enhancements program to bridge repair.
TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENTS THREATENED…AGAIN
Last week the preservation community rallied against an amendment offered by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would have eliminated funding for Transportation Enhancements – the largest source for federal historic preservation funding. Ultimately, we were successful in defeating this attempt. However, we have just learned that ANOTHER AMENDMENT IS EXPECTED NEXT WEEK by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would redirect funding for Transportation Enhancement projects to bridge repair.
On November 1st, the Senate will resume their consideration of H.R. 2112 – the “minibus” spending package that contains three spending bills, including S.1596 for Transportation-HUD.It is likely the amendment (#821) will be considered early in the process.
The Transportation Enhancements program, administered by the Federal Highway Administration, provides funding for historic preservation projects related to surface transportation. Ten percent of Federal Surface Transportation Program funds are set aside to fund 12 categories of projects.These categories include a plethora of activities related to historic preservation: purchase of easements on historic properties, rehabilitation of historic buildings, landscaping in historic areas, archeological planning and research, and scenic or historic highway programs. These projects create jobs, leverage private investment, and enhance our quality of life while alsoenhancing our transportation infrastructure.
Certainly our nation’s bridges need support. However, targeting the Transportation Enhancements program – which only represents 2% of the entire federal transportation funding stream- does not make sense. This amendment, in fact, would provide so little additional funding for bridges that it would take 80 years to fix the backlog of bridge repairs and achieve “success.” And in the process, the largest source of federal historic preservation funding would be lost.
To learn more about Transportation Enhancements, visit the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse website. To see a list of the hundreds of projects in New Jersey that have benefited from Transportation Enhancements funding, click here>>. Pick a project in your community or one that that you love and tell NJ Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez about it and how Transportation Enhancements made it possible.
Speak out for historic preservation funding!