The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) has welcomed passage of the first long-term surface transportation bill in a decade.
Congress passed Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which guarantees US$305 billion for America’s surface transportation system over the next five years. It will be sent to the president for signature, who has indicated his support, after The U.S. House of Representatives voted 359-65 and the Senate voted 83-16 in favour of the bill.
“This critical bill gives state and federal governments the funding certainty essential for informed infrastructure investment. Our industry is ready to get to work and help improve the condition, efficiency and safety of America’s roads, highways and bridges,” said Michael W. Johnson, NSSGA president and CEO. “We commend members of Congress for seeing the value of a robust infrastructure to foster economic growth, maintain our global competitiveness and improve the quality of life for Americans.”
While the bill provides five years of funding for infrastructure maintenance and improvements, it does not address the limitations of an 18 cents-per-gallon motor fuel user fee to fund federal portions of infrastructure projects. The next five years will pass very quickly. Congress must turn its focus to creating a sustainable funding mechanism that will ensure the nation’s surface transportation system is stably funded for the 21st century.
Johnson credited NSSGA members and everyone in the aggregates industry for working tirelessly with the association over the past several years to contact their members of Congress to urge passage of a new, long-term highway bill. “The thousands of emails and phone calls from our grassroots supporters were critical to ensuring that Congress knew the full value of a long-term highway bill. It appears that Congress got the message loud and clear, and I commend everyone in the aggregates industry for their hard work,” he said.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/07122015/nssga-welcomes-longterm-surface-transportation-bill-decade-124/