The U.S. Department of Transportation estimated the Highway Trust Fund will remain solvent until June 2016.
“I wasn’t happy to hear that because we need to go ahead,” said Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. “If we don’t get this done when we’re scheduled to, we’re going to miss a construction season, an entire year.” Congress had previously expressed a desire to adopt a long-term bill when it approved a short term extension in August.
Proponents of a long-term highway bill said there could be problems if Congress waited until 2016, an election year, to address a long-term infrastructure investment. “I think if they decide to wait until the election year, it could be an empty promise… not a lot goes on in election years,” said DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The highway program is currently operating under an extension that expires on Oct. 29, although that extension includes funding through the end of 2015.
The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) continues push for action by Congress on a six-year surface transportation reauthorization that increases investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges. The association was joined by members who held or participated in over 35 facility tours with members of Congress in August. These opportunities provide great ways for members to educate lawmakers on the vital importance of the aggregates industry to our nation’s infrastructure. NSSGA asks all members to continue these efforts and urge members of Congress to take action before Oct. 29.