WASHINGTON (AP) - The House and Senate have reached agreement on a 5-year, $281 billion transportation bill that would increase spending to address the nation's aging and congested highways and transit systems.

WASHINGTON (AP) The House and Senate have reached agreement on a 5-year, $281 billion transportation bill that would increase spending to address the nation's aging and congested highways and transit systems.

The bill would put an end to the cycle of temporary extensions and threatened shutdowns of transportation programs that have bedeviled Congress for the past seven years, making it difficult for states to plan long-term projects.

But the bill falls short of the money the Obama administration says is needed to keep traffic congestion from worsening, and it puts off the difficult decision of how to pay for transportation programs in a way that's sustainable in the long term.

Passage of the bill is expected by Friday, when authority to process aid payments to states expires.