The best way to improve America’s transportation network? Fix the Highway Trust Fund nowApril 8, 2019
Chunks of concrete fell from a bridge structure outside Boston on Feb. 7, prompting the closure of lanes on I-90 and creating major traffic headaches. That same day, concrete fell from another major bridge, this time in northern California. The result was more transportation gridlock. Four days later, Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago closed suddenly due to “structural emergencies,” as crews worked to repair a cracked steel beam that supports the roadway.
Our transportation network remains the backbone of the U.S. economy. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of our roads, bridges and other transportation systems are in desperate need of improvements. The solution lies within a renewed commitment from our nation’s leaders to invest financially in America’s transportation infrastructure.
Americans overwhelmingly want their highways, roads, bridges and public transit systems fixed. A Jan. 23-24 Rasmussen Reports survey found that nearly 90 percent of likely voters believe “the Democratic leadership and President Trump should work together during 2019 to pass legislation that would improve … infrastructure.”
Congress and President Trump have an opportunity to deliver on improvements the American people want by acting quickly to ensure the long-term viability of the Highway Trust Fund. On average, the fund provides more than half of the money for annual capital investments that states make to improve highways and bridges. But today, the fund is in financial peril. Since 2008, Congress and the two previous administrations have resorted to $145 billion in budget gimmicks just to keep funding at its current, inadequate levels. Absent congressional action, the states will be forced to cut about $19 billion out of their annual improvement budgets beginning in 2021.
Congress: It is time to fix our infrastructure problem now.
Priority #1 must be to find a sustainable way to pay for future Highway Trust Fund-supported investments that keep pace with our Nation’s growing infrastructure. Priority #2 must be to expand Trust Fund resources for projects that ease traffic congestion, improve safety and support long-term U.S. economic growth.
A generational opportunity to turn blueprints and big thinking into the 21st century infrastructure network stands before us. Congress and the president need to get moving.
Established in 1996, the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) includes 31 national associations and labor unions with a direct market interest in the federal transportation programs. It is co-chaired by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America.
The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition formed in 2000. It brings together businesses, the labor and union sectors, transportation stakeholders, and the public to advocate for a robust transportation infrastructure grid in the United States. This includes promoting ongoing and sustainable funding through policies and broad-based initiatives.
All 31 TCC member organizations include:
- American Road & Transportation Builders Association*
- Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America*
- American Coal Ash Association
- American Concrete Pavement Association
- American Concrete Pipe Association
- American Council of Engineering Companies*
- American Society of Civil Engineers*
- American Iron and Steel Institute
- American Subcontractors Association
- American Traffic Safety Services Association
- Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association
- Asphalt Recycling and Reclaiming Association
- Associated Equipment Distributors
- Association of Equipment Manufacturers*
- Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute
- International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers
- International Slurry Surfacing Association
- International Union of Operating Engineers*
- Laborers’ International Union of North America*
- Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust
- National Asphalt Pavement Association*
- National Association of Surety Bond Producers
- National Electrical Contractors Association
- National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
- National Steel Bridge Alliance
- National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association*
- National Utility Contractors Association
- Portland Cement Association*
- Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
- The Road Information Program
- United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
The asterisked organizations above are members of Americans for Transportation Mobility. The following three organizations are also members of ATM:
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