The American Concrete Pavement Association applauds the bipartisan group of United States Senators and President Joe Biden for forging consensus and reaching an agreement on a transformational infrastructure deal last week. This past Sunday, Senate Leader Schumer officially introduced the text of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The U.S. concrete pavement industry recognizes that this legislation represents the most significant long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.
This week, Senators have been busy debating the bill and working through a bipartisan amendment process. According to analysis provided by ENO, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represents roughly a 49% increase in highway funding over current “baseline’ amounts, or approximately $115 billion in additional highway funding over 5 years. The bill also provides $25 billion in additional funding for FAA. It is anticipated that this increased investment in highway and airfield infrastructure will translate directly to significant growth in concrete paving volumes as well.
Several ACPA priorities are included in the base text of the bill, including the ACPA-conceived $12 million/year Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (or AID-PT) program which funds the vast majority of concrete pavement research and technology deployment efforts conducted by and funded through FHWA and the CP Tech Center.
ACPA is also engaged in the amendment process as there are several that are important to the concrete pavement community, including the Cornyn-Padilla amendment which would amend the American Rescue Plan legislation to provide states and localities the flexibility to use unspent coronavirus relief funds for infrastructure projects (additional details about the amendment is provided in the story below).
We are optimistic that the Senate will pass this critical piece of legislation by the end of this week, likely on Saturday (or possibly Sunday). The path forward in the House is not yet entirely clear, but if President Biden publicly expresses support for passage, it is hard to imagine that Speaker Pelosi will delay a vote significantly, especially since the current highway authorization expires on September 30th.
For those ACPA members who have not yet engaged with their Members of Congress urging support of the bipartisan infrastructure framework, please reach out NOW to urge their vote in support of passage. This investment is hugely important to our concrete pavement industry, and it is critical that we make our voice heard!