AISI Applauds Passage of Five Year Highway Bill

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For Immediate Release
December 3, 2015

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), which represents North American steel producers and suppliers to the steel industry, tonight hailed Congress’ passage of a House-Senate compromise on a bill to reauthorize surface transportation programs for the next five years. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act, is the first long-term transportation bill to be passed by Congress in ten years.

Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, said, “The steel industry is not only a user of the highway system, but it is also an important supplier to road, bridge and transit builders. This long overdue legislation will enable steelmakers and our customers to plan for the future, as the bill provides an increase in current investments levels -- estimated at 15 percent for road, highway and bridge projects, and 20 percent for transit programs.”

Gibson said key provisions benefiting the steel industry include: accelerated project delivery via permit streamlining; the promotion of public-private partnerships; a national freight program aimed at reducing congestion; innovative funding for bridge construction; and, a review of cost-saving bridge design and construction techniques to include lifecycle costs.

“While the bill provides enough revenue to cover the five year investments authorized, it does not address the long-term insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund. In order for our economy to remain internationally competitive, a long-term surface transportation bill is critical. AISI will continue to work with members of Congress to develop a long-term, permanent solution that will keep the fund sustainable and keep our roads and bridges structurally sound,” Gibson concluded.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI's website at www.steel.org. Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).