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This Week in Infrastructure: If not now, when?

April 25, 2014

“It is time to fix our roads and bridges,” House Public Works and Highways Committee Chairman Rep. David Campbell, D-Nashua, [New Hampshire,] said. “If not 4.2 cents, what amount? If not today, when?”

With those words of encouragement and a vote, New Hampshire’s legislative branch sent a bill to Gov. Maggie Hassan raising the Gas Tax by 4.2 cents. The governor has said she would sign the bill.

Rep. Campbell’s words are ones that apply not only in New Hampshire, but across the country. Finding funding, making the decision to invest, is a slow going process, but the Highway Trust Fund’s clock is ticking.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder also applauded “constructive” strides this week in road funding legislation for his state.

States taking positive steps is promising, but without a sustainable funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund, will it be enough? The Tennessee DOT commissioner warned this week that the shrinking federal funds will significantly hurt the state’s transportation.

In addition to concerns, there were also suggested solutions. One came from U.S. Sen. Carper of Delaware, who discussed his proposal to ensure the Highway Trust Fund keeps up with current and future needs, by raising the tax gas and eventually tying it to inflation. Rep. Bill Shuster, while not outlining a plan, also discussed the importance of fixing the Highway Trust Fund at an event in his home state of Pennsylvania.

Interested in a few more reasons that it’s time to #FixtheTrustFund? Gaebler.com, The Atlantic Cities and Bloomberg all offer excellent viewpoints on the topic.

As ASCE President Randy Over said “We’re at a critical crossroads.” So if not now, when?

2 Comments
  • As a daily mass transit user,I can agree with every comment regarding the inaction of the
    United States Congress. Does the imiment collapse of the highway trust fund and other
    funding sources dry up this summer because of this partisan bickering or can there be a
    mutually agreeable solution so as to solve this huge insolvency problem?
    Everybody in the U.S. congress needs to work cooperatively to solve this issue.

    Yours Truly,

    Tom

  • Why do we continue discussing the Highway Trust Fund?

    Make EVERY bridge and EVERY roadway a toll facility! Charge fees adequate to cover ongoing maintenance requirements.

    New infrastructure can be constructed by private firms, which will be allowed to set rates sufficient to pay not only the cost of design, construction and repair, but investor dividends and taxes, as well.

    This approach has always been deemed acceptable for our railroad industry. Shouldn’t it be good enough for everyone else?

    Garl

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