The Highway Materials Group (HMG) calls on Congress to pass a multiyear transportation authorization bill following approval of a temporary patch that extends highway funding to May 2015. The coalition represents the raw-material suppliers for roads, highways and bridges.
“We are grateful Congress averted a fiscal cliff by continuing transportation funding through May 2015, but it missed an opportunity to provide the certainty that states, localities, and industries, like ours, require for road, highway and bridge projects,” said Mike Johnson, president & CEO of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association.
The Highway Materials Group, comprised of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the American Concrete Pavement Association, the Portland Cement Association, and the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, has worked since passage of MAP-21 for a new, six-year surface transportation authorization to stabilize and grow the Highway Trust Fund. The group’s reauthorization principles, which were circulated to all members of Congress, call for:
- Increase the investments necessary to maintain and expand the highway system, which is essential to meeting the competitive demands of the global economy;
- Fulfill the Congressional responsibility as outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution to “establish Post Offices and post Roads,” which are the precursor of the National Highway System;
- Retain the user-fee based system to ensure that all users of the National Highway System contribute toward its construction, maintenance and rehabilitation; and
- End the delays that make the needed investments in highways, roads, and bridges, more difficult and expensive.
Johnson continued, “Congress needs to return to work in September ready to develop a multiyear surface transportation authorization that includes a sustainable funding mechanism. America cannot afford to wait until more bridges collapse and roads crumble. Transportation historically has united the parties in pursuit of what was good and needed for America to compete and thrive. Congress must continue the tradition of bipartisanship that resulted in passage of H.R. 5021.”
The Highway Materials Group, representing nearly 1 million direct jobs in the highway materials and construction industry, is committed to an authorization bill that clearly recognizes how the maintenance and improvement of our network of roads and transportation structures — built by Americans employed in well-paying jobs that cannot be exported — is essential for the economic growth, safety, security, freedom of mobility, and quality of life benefiting every American.