The US government's authority to pay bills expires Friday unless Congress passes legislation to extend the deadline, but lawmakers are struggling to strike a deal. They have been unable to agree on how to lift spending caps Congress imposed upon itself in 2011, as well as immigration, aid for areas devastated by hurricanes and health programs.
The Daily Press' editorial board supports the recently installed managed toll lanes on Interstate 64 in Virginia. The lanes give people a choice when driving on the interstate and will help reduce congestion in the region, the board contends.
Robert Dean, head of technology for Transurban, said the tolled express lanes on Interstate 95 in Virginia are a "guaranteed time to delivery" for commuters. The company recently signed a deal with the state to extend the toll lanes, and it is testing several new technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and connected infrastructure, to improve the driving experience.
Construction on the 13-mile, $134.6 million Suncoast Parkway extension in Citrus County, Fla., is expected to begin Feb. 12. County officials and the Florida Turnpike Enterprise are planning a groundbreaking ceremony, and work on the extension is to be complete in 2022.
The Road Infrastructure Agency in Bulgaria has signed a $90.2 million deal with a consortium led by Kapsch to install an electronic tolling system in the country. The tolling equipment will be installed on 10,138 miles of roadway, and tolls will vary depending on the type of vehicle and the distance traveled.
Autonomous vehicle development is happening more quickly than predicted, and US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, speaking at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, urged the media and the industry to educate the public on the technology. A recent study found that 47% of US consumers believe autonomous vehicles would be unsafe, down from 74% last year.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corp. wants to expand the Vashi creek bridge in India from six to 12 lanes and has extended the deadline for proposals. The deadline for bids is now Jan. 29.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is advocating for congestion pricing on New York City-area bridges and tunnels, but he said a soon-to-be-released plan will not include bridges on the East River. The plan "is going to be talking about a zone rather than bridges."
California Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed a $17 billion, two-tunnel project under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to improve water transportation, but the plan has faced funding challenges and a lack of support. The Brown administration is looking to scale back the scope, perhaps building only one tunnel, but that limits the amount of water the system could move.
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