Government Affairs

Infrastructure Week Grassroots Alert

Infrastructure Week 2014 is here! The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, Building America’s Future, the U.S. Council on Competitiveness and the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution have organized a full week of strategically placed high-level events and briefings, national and targeted regional media coverage and other activities convening business and policy leaders to articulate the national, regional and local challenges in maintaining, updating and developing new infrastructure across the United States. Infrastructure Week 2014 is designed to help build momentum and urgency to attract the attention of key policymakers and the larger community by telling the story of business, labor, industry and citizens dedicated to improving America’s global competitiveness through investment in infrastructure.

ACPA, as part of the Highway Materials Group is using the occasion of Infrastructure Week 2014 to attract the attention of key policymakers to the critical state of our infrastructure, the need for a robust, long term highway bill, and the urgent need to fix our highway trust fund.  Download press release.  Each of the Highway Materials Group members will be using the same letter in their grassroots campaign, but you are welcome to write your own letters to your elected officials. You are also welcome to use PCA’s grassroots page below to make the process of sending a letter easier.

Click here to tell Congress that the time to fix the highway trust fund is NOW!

The Highway Trust fund that has funded the US surface transportation program for almost 60 years will go bankrupt by the end of the summer. This means that the Federal Highway Administration will not be able reimburse State DOTs for highway projects at the peak of the summer construction season. Numerous DOTs have already held back or cancelled bid lettings in anticipation of this crisis. The long term ramifications for commerce and the broader US economy is sobering. USDOT is estimating that 700,000 jobs are at risk, and by 2020 businesses could lose $1 trillion a year in sales.

A solution must be acted upon by Congress before lasting damage is inflicted on American economic competitiveness and prosperity.

Please feel free to share the above link both within and beyond your organizations. We encourage all Americans to engage with their lawmakers on this critically important issue.

Registration Open for ACPA Mid-Year Meeting and LCCA Workshop

Visit the event registration page for complete program details.

ACPA will be hosting members for the 2014 Mid-Year Meeting from June 24-26th at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago, IL. A workshop on Tuesday, June 24th will cover the topic “Applying Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) for Fair Pavement Type Selection”. 

 

In Memoriam: James L. Oberstar (1934-2014)

Rep. Jim Oberstar (DFL-MN-08) during a visit to ACPA in 1999.

Rep. Jim Oberstar (DFL-MN-08) during a visit to ACPA in 1999.

Our deepest sympathies go to the family of James L. Oberstar, Minnesota’s longest-serving Member of Congress and former Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (110th and 111th Congresses).  

Jim Oberstar was a tireless, spirited, and effective transportation advocate.   We remember him for his passionate and unswerving support of safe, efficient, and long-lasting highways and bridges, as well as for his warm personality and enthusiasm.  

We recall with great admiration a story he shared about working his way through college by loading bags of cement.   Oberstar shared the story at many events where officials of the cement and concrete industries gathered.   It was a story that always brought smiles and applause.   The story was more than an amusing anecdote; it was a reminder of Oberstar’s dedication, hard work, and appreciation for the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

 

 

Transportation Group Urge August Grassroots Actions

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Industry Influences Legislation for Transportation Spending

Several states are considering ways to increase their transportation spending, and so,  we are looking at one positive example of how the transportation construction industry—along with organizations that represent motorists, businesses, and others who rely on highways—helped with the passage of a massive funding measure.

In Pennsylvania last November, Governor Tom Corbett (R) signed into law a five-year, $2.3 billion funding measure to address the Commonwealth’s transportation needs through 2018. The bill will ramp up to an additional $1.65 billion in funding for state roads and bridges for 2017-2018. 

Led by the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition, a large contingent of construction industry organizations representing the concrete pavement and asphalt pavement industries; aggregate producers; bridge builders; construction engineers; labor unions; and others, united with a diverse group of people and organizations to educate and persuade legislators of the importance and dire need for this funding to improve the safety and quality of life for all in the Keystone State.

“It was a multi-pronged effort,” explained John Becker, P.E., President of the ACPA Pennsylvania Chapter. He said one of the keys to success was unifying the road and bridge construction industries, as well as bringing the highway user community together to support the effort.

“We also included mass transit, rail, bicycle advocates, and aviation interests in the effort,” Becker said. He added this was important because Pennsylvania has two major urban areas, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, which rely heavily on public transportation. “There are many votes that come with support of those modes,” he said.

The funding measure involves gradually removing an artificial cap on fuel tax over a five year period.  It also involves minor changes in vehicle registration and driver licensing fees, as well as changes to traffic violation fines, surcharges, and permits. There also were reforms to local government funding provisions; the establishment of a one-of-a-kind multimodal fund; and several other transportation-related provisions, including several that are specific to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and public transportation.

Becker offered advice to highway construction advocates and others who might be involved in similar funding measures: Engage the highway users and all modes of transportation, he said.

“Remember that buses drive on pavements and bridges, too,” he said, noting that it is especially important to involve other mass transit, trucking, and other transportation modes.

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