Before heading to La Crosse, Wis., to participate in the annual Road Machinery and Supplies motorcycle rally, The Road Connection team made a stop in Milwaukee, Wis., to visit campaign supporters at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) office.
The Road Connection is a nationwide initiative sponsored by KPI-JCI to highlight the need for increased road and infrastructure funding. It involves increasing awareness about the positive impact that infrastructure funding has on the job market, about the poor road conditions that exist in many areas today, and about the burden that the high cost of poor road conditions place on both individuals and communities.
During their time at AEM headquarters, The Road Connection team had an opportunity to speak with the president of AEM, Dennis Slater, and a member of the AEM public relations team, Jordanne Kann-Helle. Since long-term legislation was passed earlier in the month, the two organizations discussed how their messaging has changed since the President signed MAP-21 into law on July 6.
Both The Road Connection and AEM believe that although this is a step in the right direction for the construction industry, the 27 months of funding doesn’t provide a permanent solution for contractors counting on these federally funded projects. “We are pretty excited about the passage of the bill,” said Slater. “However, at the same time, it’s a two year bill, a stop-gap measure, and a lot has to be done in the next two years to get ready for the next bill,” he added.
The Road Connection continues to take its message to the streets, urging the public to get informed on the new legislation, and to be cognizant that two years will be here quickly. The team will continue an aggressive letter-writing campaign to lawmakers in Washington, D.C., applauding them for their work on passing a highway bill, but urging them to think ahead so that the industry does not have to rely on short-term extensions once the bill expires.
From Milwaukee, The Road Connection truck heads to La Crosse, Wis., and Riverside, Iowa, before heading to the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D., on August 4, 2012.