Transportation infrastructure bank established

Senators passed a bill April 12 creating a transportation infrastructure bank to fund new roads and bridges.

Introduced by Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion, LB960 creates an infrastructure bank fund composed of three programs overseen by the state Department of Roads. The first will accelerate capital improvement projects, including the state’s expressway system and other high-priority roads projects.

The second program will provide funds to repair and replace deficient county bridges and the third will finance improvements to the state’s transportation infrastructure that will support new and expanding businesses.

The bank fund will receive a one-time transfer of $50 million from the state’s cash reserve in July 2016. More than $400 million in state motor fuel tax generated between July 2016 and June 2033 also will be directed to the fund.

The bill also authorizes the department to hire a construction manager who will advise the department on project scheduling and to enter into contracts in which a single contractor designs and builds a project.

The bill passed on a 48-0 vote.

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