Article by Nathaniel Hayes
The Highway Trust Fund is set to expire again, and ASCE needs your help. Congress hasn’t raised the Federal Gas Tax since 1993 – before this year’s graduating class of engineers was even born!
By Congressional inaction, we have lost a generation of buying power due to the inflationary rise of labor and materials, and have formed a backlog of deferred maintenance and capital improvements to thousands of miles of federally funded highways and bridges. The two-month extension of the Highway Trust Fund is set to expire at the end of July, and USDOT will be forced to implement cash management strategies by approving and disbursing project funding at a slower rate. Meanwhile State DOTs will defer projects where federal funding is not committed.
On June 25, 2015 ASCE members joined the Membership-wide Key Contact Call, with Delaware Senator Thomas Carper. Here, members heard how Congressional negotiations over America’s federal highway system are proceeding and how they can help #FixtheTrustFund before the clock runs out on July 31, 2015.
You can learn more about future Key Contact calls, what you can do to advocate for the Highway Trust Fund, and become a Key Contact yourself at www.asce.org/keycontacts. By joining, you will be provided the tools and opportunities to develop relationships with your local, state, and federal elected officials, and have meaningful conversations about issues important to our profession.
And finally, we urge you to contact your elected official in Congress and ask that they pass a long-term surface transportation funding bill before it expires July 31, 2015. Let them know that without guaranteed long-term funding, we are merely providing a 21st century economy a rehabilitated path on 20th century infrastructure.