AGC declares HTF on verge of bankruptcy
The Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC) CEO Stephen E. Sandherr has declared the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) on the verge of bankruptcy, and called for short–term solutions such as indexing the gas tax to inflation to guard against future erosion of the funds purchasing power and long–term methods to supplement the gas tax.
Sandherr spoke at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and discussed the recommendations outlined in The Future of Highway and Public Transportation Financing, the final phase of a transportation financing study released by the National Chamber Foundation.
“The release of this report is the first step in the long process of reauthorizing the surface transportation program,” said Sandherr. “It includes thoughtful and bold recommendations, and it is now our job to convince leaders to lead.”
The report estimates a cumulative funding shortfall at all levels of government ranging from a half trillion dollars to maintain the current condition of our transportation system through 2030 to $1.1 trillion to improve the current condition of the system over the same time period. The report also predicts that the HTF will be fully spent in 2008, one year shy of the SAFETEA-LU authorization period.
“Without a significant influx of new revenues, not only will the HTF be unable to support the federal commitment made under SAFETEA-LU, but our nation’s transportation network will also continue to deteriorate, impacting mobility and economic well-being,” added Sandherr.
This report includes many of the recommendations made by AGC in advance of the last reauthorization cycle such as boosting highway funding, including indexing the gas tax to inflation, closing exemptions and re-crediting interest to the HTF, expanding the use of tolling, and encouraging use of innovative financing tools.
Increasing the federal gas tax through indexing would have an immediate impact on the solvency of the HTF in the short term; however, as this report correctly lays out, it is critical to augment the future funding of transportation infrastructure in this country.
Tech paper shares information on crushing chamber selection
Telsmith Inc., an Astec company, has recently released a new technical paper outlining key guidelines on the selection of the right crushing chamber for cone crushers. Titled Liner Selection for the Gyrasphere Cone Crusher, and authored by Telsmith Product Engineer Dudley Schaal, its aim is to train plant operators on identifying the proper liner selection to maximize profitability and productivity. Schaal says that by selecting the right liner and maintaining a consistent feed pattern to the crusher, producers will put more rock on the pay-pile and more revenue into the operation.
Available online at www.telsmith.com or in print, the new technical paper stresses the importance of matching the liner selection to the feed material. To determine feed properties, Schaal recommends a sieve analysis, and he explains the formula and method behind the required test. Also covered is the need to maintain the proper reduction ratio, as well as tips on just when one should replace a worn liner. Lastly, the paper covers the importance of maintaining a well-graded feed and choke feeding to achieving maximum capacity levels, optimal product sizing, and a superior cubical product.
Tensar partners with Saint-Gobain
In its efforts to provide single-source solutions to the road construction market, Tensar Earth Technologies (TET) has partnered with Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics (SGTF), developer of the patented GlasGrid Pavement Reinforcement Mesh. Effective January 1, TET will have exclusive sales and marketing rights for the GlasGrid product line throughout North and South America.