The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on Wednesday, March 3, held the first of what Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said would be a series of hearings as the committee prepares to write key aspects of a new highway bill that Boxer has dubbed “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP 21). Witnesses, who included representatives from state transportation departments and the transportation construction industry, testified about the importance of infrastructure investment to the economy and job creation. In her opening statement, Boxer said the committee would hold future hearings on “federal, state and local partnerships to accelerate transportation benefits, mobility and congestion in urban and rural America, and transportation’s impact on the environment.” She pledged to complete a bill by the end of the year. The EPW Committee has jurisdiction over, among other things, the highway construction portions of the bill. Other committees will write the safety, funding and transit sections. Boxer suggested that she would use a draft highway bill currently under consideration by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as a starting point for the EPW Committee’s legislation.