With no agreement yet on a six-year transportation bill, Congress has approved another short extension of the federal highway and transit programs, seeking to avert a virtual shutdown of much of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation on July 31.

The measure, which the House and Senate approved late on July 22 , will extend the federal highway program through Sept. 24 and federal transit, highway safety and truck and bus safety funding through Sept. 30. The legislation now goes to the White House, where President Bush is expected to sign it.


The bill is the fifth short extension of the transportation programs since last Sept. 30, when the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century lapsed.

The previous extension runs through July 31, but Congress had to act by July 23, when it begins a six-week break.

Negotiations on the multi-year successor to TEA-21 are expected to resume when Congress returns after Labor Day.

(See story updating conference committee on the transportation bill, posted on enr.com on 7/23.)