Congressman Cohen Strongly Supports INVEST in America Act
MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, today spoke in favor of an ambitious, five-year surface transportation bill, H.R. 3684, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act. This bill contains all or parts of bills Congressman Cohen has introduced involving multiple substance impaired driving, interstate rail compacts, complete streets, school bus safety, underride guards for tractor-trailers, Amtrak dining car service, and the renaming of the Selma-to-Montgomery section of U.S. 80 in Alabama for his dear friend and late colleague as the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Highway. The Committee is expected to vote on the measure in the coming days.
In his remarks at the markup, Congressman Cohen said:
“This INVEST in America Act is a long time coming. I’ve spent 15 years now in Congress, and I’ve been on Transportation the whole time, and we haven’t come up with a bill like this…We’ve fallen behind in infrastructure…In Memphis, the Hernando DeSoto Bridge is out of operation…That’s a bridge of Interstate 40 that connects the East Coast to the West Coast, and lots of commerce…It’ll be back in operation maybe in August. Secretary Buttigieg came to Memphis to learn about it with his acting administrator of highways to make sure the federal government expedites it all it could to get the bridge re-opened…
“It’s also a canary in the coal mine. Everybody out there listening, to my colleagues in particular on the Republican side: There are other bridges in this country that are in disrepair…There’s been a lot of talk about this bill not being bipartisan. It’s bipartisan: The American public supports this bill…”
See Congressman Cohen’s entire remarks here.
The INVEST in America Act includes $32 billion for improvements to bridges just as a cracked beam in the Hernando DeSoto-Interstate 40 Bridge over the Mississippi River at Memphis dramatically demonstrates the need for improving aging infrastructure.
The bill also includes funding for Congressman Cohen’s member-designated projects including: Improvements to Elvis Presley Boulevard in the Whitehaven community; the purchase six all-electric buses for the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA); the reconstruction of the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Cooper Street at Overton Park; the reconstruction of a six-lane intersection in Orange Mound; and installation of pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly improvements to increase safety at a critical intersection near LeMoyne-Owen College.