The Highway Materials Group (HMG) called 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 that Congress averted a fiscal cliff by continuing transportation funding through May 2015, but it missed the opportunity to provide the certainty that states, localities and industries, like ours, require for road, highway and bridge projects,” said Mike Johnson, president and CEO of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association.
The Highway Materials Group, comprised of the American Concrete Pavement Association; Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute; National Asphalt Pavement Association; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association; and the Portland Cement Association, has since passage of MAP-21 worked for a new six-year surface transportation authorization to stabilize and grow the Highway Trust Fund.
The group’s reauthorization principles that were circulated to all members of Congress calls for:
- Increased investments needed to maintain and expand the highway system essential to meet the competitive demands of the global economy;
- Fulfillment of the Constitutional responsibility as provided in Article 1, Section 8 to “establish Post Offices and post Roads,” which are the precursor of the National Highway System;
- Retention of the user-fee based system that ensures all users of the highway system contribute toward its construction, maintenance and rehabilitation; and,
- No more delay, which only makes the investments necessary to highways, roads, and bridges, more difficult and expensive.
Johnson continued, “Congress needs to return to work in September and 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.”