Materials Group: Highway authorization warrants years, not months
- Written by Concrete News
Sources: Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff
On behalf of members representing concrete and asphalt interests, the Highway Materials Group calls on Congress to pass a longer term transportation authorization bill following a temporary highway and bridge funding patch approved as Capitol Hill approached an August recess.
“We are grateful Congress averted a fiscal cliff by continuing transportation funding through May 2015, but it missed the opportunity to provide the certainty that states, localities and industries, like ours, require for road, highway and bridge projects,” says National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association CEO Mike Johnson. “Congress needs to return in September and develop a multiyear surface transportation authorization that includes a sustainable funding mechanism. America cannot afford to wait until more bridges collapse and roads crumble. Transportation historically has united the parties in pursuit of what was good and needed for America to compete and thrive.”
Since passage of MAP-21, a two-year measure covering federal surface transportation programs through September 30, the Highway Materials Group has worked for a new six-year surface transportation authorization to stabilize and grow the Highway Trust Fund. Reauthorization principles circulated to all members of Congress call for:
- Increased investments needed to maintain and expand the highway system essential to meet the competitive demands of the global economy;
- Fulfillment of the Constitutional responsibility as provided in Article 1, Section 8 to “establish Post Offices and post Roads,” which are the precursor of the National Highway System;
- Retention of the user-fee based system that ensures all users of the highway system contribute toward its construction, maintenance and rehabilitation; and,
- No more delay, which only makes the investments necessary to highways, roads, and bridges, more difficult and expensive.
In addition to NSSGA, Highway Materials Group members are the American Concrete Pavement Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Asphalt Pavement Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and the Portland Cement Association.