Congressional passage of the "Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act-A Legacy for Users" (SAFETEA-LU), came 22 months and an unprecedented 11 extensions after the expiration of its predecessor TEA-21.
SAFETEA-LU will provide $286.5 billion in guaranteed funding for federal highway, transit and safety programs — a 30 percent increase over TEA-21. The core highway program will be funded at $34.4 billion in fiscal year 2005, increasing to $41.2 billion by 2009. All states are guaranteed a six-year-average highway funding increase of at least 19 percent, compared to the six-year TEA-21 funding totals.
President Bush traveled to the Caterpillar manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Ill., with House Speaker Dennis Hastert to sign the Transportation Equity Act into law. The Cat wheel loader and excavator plant is located in Hastert's 14th Congressional District.