Construction Official Says Conference Committee’s Final Highway and Transit Measure Includes Vital Program Reforms and Needed Funding for Next Five Years, But Long-Term Funding Problems will Persist
The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to the release today of the Congressional Conference Committee’s new multi-year surface transportation legislation:
“The release of the committee’s final bill brings us one step closer to having the kind of long-term measure that transportation officials rely on to plan and finance needed improvements to our aging highway and transit systems. The slight boost to overall transportation funding included in this five-year measure will help cut traffic, improve transportation safety and keep our economy globally competitive. Likewise, the policy reforms that we backed and were included in the measure will help reduce the amount of time and money it takes to plan, approve and construct new transportation projects. That is why we will spend the remainder of the week making sure that this measure passes both chambers and becomes law.
“Yet even as we work to ensure that the first truly long-term transportation bill since 2005 becomes law, we will continue to urge Congress and the administration to find the kind of long-term and sustainable funding mechanisms that the current measure lacks. Identifying a new way to pay for highway and transit upgrades is crucial if we want to avoid the temporary extensions and patchwork funding provisions that preceded this bill. Ultimately, we want to make sure that the sequel to this bill fully funds our highway and transit program for generations to come.”