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The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works yesterday released the text for a six-year, bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bill to fund and improve the nation's federal-aid highway programs at current funding levels plus inflation.The legislation would build on the "success of the comprehensive reforms and performance-based approach to transportation investment in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)," according to a committee press release. MAP-21 expires on Sept. 30 and the Highway Trust Fund is projected to run out of funds this summer. The committee is scheduled to mark up the bill on Thursday."I'm particularly proud that we were able to include a formula-based freight program that will provide $2 billion annually for states to improve the flow of freight on key corridors," said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who chairs the committee's Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure. "The program will enable states to develop multi-modal freight investment plans that will ensure each state is investing in projects that support the biggest benefit to commerce and business, and provide taxpayers with a strong return on investment."Carper said he also was pleased the bill contained a measure that would create dedicated funding for the Projects of National and Regional Significance program, which would help fund "the most critical projects that will offer significant benefits to regions such as the Mid-Atlantic."Click here for a bill summary.