Sources: Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Milwaukee; National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Arlington, Va.; CP staff
The National Surface Transportation Policy and Review Study Commission cites the need over the next 50 years to invest a minimum of $225 billion annually--more than double the current rate of federal and state outlays--to ensure adequate repair and upkeep of highway, transit and passenger rail systems.
Federal construction interests concur with "Transportation for Tomorrow," the commission's new blueprint for how future infrastructure needs can best be met. "A vital infrastructure is an integral part of our daily lives at work and leisure," says Association of Equipment Manufacturers Chairman Glen Tellock (Manitowoc Co.). "We have enormous infrastructure repair and maintenance needs, and encourage Congress and the Administration to consider all options recommended by the Commission during [the 2009] highway bill reauthorization."
Notes National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association Reauthorization Task Force Chairman Michael Stanczak (Hanson Material Service), "The commission report reflects many of [our] recommendations. This includes the need for a new vision of transportation in the 21st Century, a multi-modal system that employs technological advances to increase efficiency of the system and the need for more research to continue advances to ease the congestion clogging our urban areas and imposing increasing costs in time and wasted fuels."
Of particular importance to the aggregates industry are report conclusions focusing on improved coordination between states and metropolitan areas on transportation and land use to meet congestion relief and ensure that local-aggregate reserves remain accessible for road and highway work. NSSGA believes no financing options should be off the table--from increasing the fuel user fee to increased tolling, public private partnerships where they make sense and new ideas like a carbon tax directed to transportation infrastructure.