The US Senate has passed a six-year surface transportation authorisation: the ‘Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act’ or the DRIVE Act. It will provide more than US$40 billion in revenues to cover shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund during the initial three years of the legislation’s six-year authorisation.
Additionally, the Senate also passed a three-month infrastructure extension that funds roads and bridge projects through this year’s construction season. It is approved by the House and is pending the President’s approval.
The Sennate’s approval has been welcomed by many and considered a major step towards completing a robust highway bill in Autumn 2015.
“We were glad to see progress made towards a long-term investment in our country’s infrastructure. Sens. McConnell, Inhofe and Boxer demonstrated that a multi-year, well-funded and bipartisan bill is possible and we are grateful for their effort,” said Michael W. Johnson, The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) President and CEO. “While it is disappointing to see another short-term extension, we challenge the House to finish the job started by the Senate and create a long-term bill when they return from recess.”
“Supporting the nation’s infrastructure is one of the basic functions of our government,” commented James G. Toscas, President and CEO of the Portland Cement Association (PCA). “Years of short-term stopgap measures have left our transportation system in terrible shape. Let's be honest: we won't be happy until this country has a long-term transportation bill with a sustainable funding mechanism. While today's action is also a stopgap measure, we're encouraged because it's specifically aimed at giving Congress time to work on the DRIVE Act. Hopefully this three-month extension will be signed into law, and will be the last short-term transportation authorization we'll see for many years.”
Toscas concluded: "The economy depends on safe and efficient transportation. As our economy struggles to grow, transportation demands increase. After years of inadequate investment, the present system is simply not up to the task, and could end up choking the economy. The DRIVE Act will be a big step toward fixing this with sound infrastructure investment, and today's Senate action is a step toward the DRIVE Act."
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/31072015/us-infrastructure-makes-solid-progress-248/