President Obama signed the transportation bill on Friday, July 6. Pete Ruane, American Road & Transportation Builders Association President and CEO, gives credit to both Republicans and Democrats for the new transportation law, and he believes it will restore public confidence in the highway and transit investment program.
“This wasn't business as usual, just ‘rearranging the deck chairs,’ adding pet programs and throwing money at congressional earmarks," Ruane says. "The new law is truly a ‘good government’ measure that makes the significant program reforms necessary to set the stage for meaningful, transparent and accountable federal transportation investments in the future.
“The law has no congressional earmarks. It focuses federal dollars on meeting critical national needs like efficient freight movement and driving down the number of motor vehicle crashes that result in unnecessary American deaths and injuries. It eliminates, consolidates or streamlines dozens of programs, giving state and local governments more decision-making control. It opens the door to more private investment in large, congestion-busting transportation projects. And, most importantly, it ushers in performance standards and reporting requirements so that the public will now know how their federal transportation dollars are being used and what kind of return on investment they are receiving.”
ARTBA Chairman Paul Yarossi, president of HNTB Holdings, Ltd., who attended the White House signing ceremony with Ruane, announced the formation of an ARTBA industry task force to spearhead an effort to secure additional federal investment in transportation programs as part of any new omnibus budget and tax reform legislation. The group will also work with federal and state agencies on implementation of the new law.