In a move that will provide some stability for transportation construction, the Senate has approved a bill to extend federal highway and transit programs through Sept. 30, the last day of the 2011 fiscal year.

Senate passage of the bill, which came on a March 3 voice vote, marks final congressional action on the measure, which provides an authorization of about seven months. The House had approved the bill one day earlier.

President Obama is expected to sign the legislation on March 4.

The bill would be the seventh stopgap highway-transit authorization since Sept. 30, 2009, when the last multi-year statute expired. The current extension is scheduled to lapse on March 4.

Construction and state transportation officials would have strongly preferred to see Congress approve a much longer bill, but the new extension provides more certainty than the previous six short stopgaps.