More from John Latta

John Latta is Editor-in-Chief of Better Roads magazine who has spent the last decade writing about roads, construction equipment, trucks and trucking, bridges, and Washington’s influence on all of the above. He is a former daily newspaperman who has pursued news in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.


Private money: A funding wildcard in 2014

Jun 13, 2013

Private money: A funding wildcard in 2014

It’s hard to see a time in the foreseeable future where we will have a solid supply of funding from any single source to fill the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). That’s an asterisked statement of course because an increased gas tax ...

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The Family Gasoline Bill: Scarcity trumps efficiency

Jun 12, 2013

The Family Gasoline Bill: Scarcity trumps efficiency

Americans spend a relatively small part of their income on gasoline. But it’s unlikely to get any smaller. It was just a bit less than 4 percent of income before taxes in 2012, the highest in nearly three decades. Consider that the ...

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Gas Tax 101: 1932 – 2013

Jun 11, 2013

Gas Tax 101: 1932 – 2013

We talk gas tax all day long in this industry. We hear arguments that it should increase (I make many of them) or that it should remain where it is (largely because it would be political suicide to raise it). But this ...

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Funding talks on The Hill lay groundwork for reauthorization

Jun 06, 2013

Funding talks on The Hill lay groundwork for reauthorization

Debriefing a number of contractors and agency folk who spent most of the daylight hours yesterday talking to politicians on The Hill last night was not a very uplifting experience. They had gone to talk to members of Congress who are ...

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Inhofe: Obama’s $500 billion to $600 billion reauthorization bill “not going to happen”

Jun 05, 2013

Inhofe: Obama’s $500 billion to $600 billion reauthorization bill “not going to happen”

Oklahoma conservative Republican Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who has "been through," as a he puts it, eight reauthorization bills, said after hearing outgoing Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood say President Obama's goal was $500 billion to $600 billion long-term reauthorization ...

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Rahall: 2014 reauthorization to be different from MAP-21

Jun 05, 2013

Rahall: 2014 reauthorization to be different from MAP-21

Ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) committee and West Virginia veteran Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV) believes reauthorization in 2014 will be a far different process than the contentious and almost-failed MAP-21 work of 2012. Speaking to the Transportation ...

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LaHood: Expect major transportation infrastructure announcement from Obama

Jun 05, 2013

LaHood: Expect major transportation infrastructure announcement from Obama

Expect a major announcement on transportation infrastructure from President Obama. That's the word from outgoing Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. "Once we get past immigration, guns, the sequester, I think the President is going to be big and bold on transportation infrastructure. ...

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Shuster talks transportation funding, earmarks at TCC Fly-in

Jun 05, 2013

Shuster talks transportation funding, earmarks at TCC Fly-in

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) believes September 2014 reauthorization has much the same bipartisan support that surfaced for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), and a bill could be ready for the President ...

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Boxer: Transportation funding is “patriotic issue”

Jun 05, 2013

Boxer: Transportation funding is “patriotic issue”

The problems facing reauthorization have "nothing to do with politics," said Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), addressing the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Fly-in in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. They "have to do with hard-nosed budgeting." The major problems are all to ...

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Market report: Weather factors into low highway market

Jun 04, 2013

Market report: Weather factors into low highway market

Just how much of a factor was winter weather in highway construction work in the first three months of this year? Perhaps quite a significant factor. Comparing the value of work being done Q1 this year with the same quarter last year, ...

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Market report: Bridges good, pavement not so good

Jun 03, 2013

Market report: Bridges good, pavement not so good

American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist and Policy VP Alison Premo Black said the bridge market is "showing some surprising strength," and new Q1 numbers suggest it will be an ongoing strength. Black was speaking at the ARTBA ...

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Over the Top: Funding some D.C. tunnel work

Jun 03, 2013

Over the Top: Funding some D.C. tunnel work

I’m always looking for interesting ways to fund transportation infrastructure and today I come across this one in Washington, D.C. While speaking to American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Federal Issues program in Washington D.C., District Department of Transportation (DDOT) ...

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