Washington, D.C. —The following is a statement from Randall (Randy) S. Over, P.E., President of The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on the bipartisan Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s newly proposed MAP-21 Reauthorization legislation:
“The proposed MAP-21 reauthorization legislation from Chairman Boxer and Senator Vitter is yet another positive step to improve our economy and raise the grades on the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure. While the proposed long-term bill is encouraging, whether or not it becomes law rests entirely in the hands of Congress. Senators Boxer and Vitter know that American families and businesses need a long-term transportation bill to provide the certainty they are looking for. The question remains whether Congress will assure economic certainty, or discard this new proposal for a short-term bill that will only hurt our ability to plan for the future.
“Senator Boxer’s proposal continues a lot of the positive work we saw under MAP-21. We must continue to increase project flexibility and accelerate projects for delivery. The more efficient and effective we can be, the greater the opportunity for raising our nation’s infrastructure grades. Likewise, we must continue to focus on how we can increase movement of goods by modernizing the investments of the past for a new economy.
“ASCE has been saying for months that we must fix this problem immediately with a long-term, sustainable revenue solution in order to keep America competitive.
“Regrettably, while the bill may reflect political realities, it does not go far enough in addressing our country’s investment gap. By maintaining our current funding levels, we are maintaining America’s D+ infrastructure grades. ASCE’s Report Card for America’s Infrastructure shows that our nation needs a renewed investment strategy for a new century.
“We applaud the leadership exhibited by Senators Boxer and Vitter to start the discussion to solve this problem. Now the question becomes: how are we going to pay for it? ASCE supports an all options on the table approach to addressing the insolvency crisis with the Highway Trust Fund. Our challenges are too vast and the costs are too great for us to continue with the status-quo. America’s economy cannot afford for the Highway Trust Fund to become insolvent—now is the time for action.”
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 145,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.