Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - March/April 2011 - (Page 17)

United States Must Have a Federal Commitment to Infrastructure S improvements and eliminate the bridge backlog. DOT also finds that $15.1 billion annually in capital funds is needed just to maintain transit conditions and performance, and $21.1 U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.) billion yearly in capital funds would be needed to improve Ranking Democratic Member, transit conditions and performance. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure The Texas Transportation Institute’s (TTI) 2010 Urban Mobility Report, which was released in January, provides a peaking before a group of business leaders in January, further compelling argument for why the Congress must invest U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue more – not less – in infrastructure. argued that the U.S. must “have a strong, consistent and The cost to our communities and economy of not containreliable federal commitment to infrastructure.” I couldn’t ing congestion is simply too high. Measured in constant 2009 agree more. dollars, TTI found that the cost of congestion has risen from Such investments put Americans to work in the near$24 billion in 1982 to $115 billion in 2009. The total amount term, creating jobs for today. But they also strengthen our of wasted fuel in 2009 topped 3.9 billion gallons. Cost to the nation’s economic competitiveness by spurring private-sector average commuter: $808 in 2009, compared to an inflationinvestments that promote business growth and jobs for the adjusted $351 in 1982. Yearly peak delay for the average long-term. commuter was 34 hours in 2009, up from 14 hours in 1982. Unfortunately, at a time when countries like China and Congestion is not merely a matter of inconvenience – congesIndia are rushing full-speed ahead on massive infrastructure tion results in billions of hours wasted, billions of gallons of projects, some are calling for deep cuts in infrastructure fuel needlessly spent and billions of dollars down the drain for investments in our own country. Our competitors know families and businesses. that their investments will fuel their Congestion is also undermineconomy and strengthen their coming our economic competitiveUnfortunately, at a time when petitiveness in an increasingly global ness. Trucks stuck in congestion countries like China and India are decrease productivity and cost $33 marketplace. In order to keep pace and extend our lead, we must invest rushing full-speed ahead on massive billion in 2009. Much of this cost more, not less. is passed on to consumers in the I have served as a member of the infrastructure projects, some are form of higher prices. Committee on Transportation and Through my experiences in Infrastructure for 34 years – my entire calling for deep cuts in infrastructure West Virginia, I understand the tenure in Congress – and have played investments in our own country. enormous challenges facing our an important role in many transportanation’s infrastructure and the tion laws. I am proud of and humbled by the trust of my uncertainty that is created for states and local communicolleagues who nominated me to serve as the top Democrat on ties when Congress fails to enact a long-term authorization. the committee for the 112th Congress, which has such broad Crafting a new long-term surface transportation bill sooner, jurisdiction over programs that can get the country moving rather than later, must be a priority. and back to work. I look forward to this new role, but the Most of my colleagues in Congress agree that we need to task ahead of us is not an easy one. pass a long-term surface transportation bill, but there will The needs of our surface transportation systems alone are certainly be disagreements about the level of investment and staggering. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates how best to provide stable funding. It is popular in Washington we must increase our investment by an additional $27 billion to say that we are going to “do more with less,” but when per year above current investment levels to simply sustain the rubber meets the road, Congress is going to have highway conditions and performance; an additional $96 bilto make some really tough decisions to address our lion per year is needed to make all cost-beneficial highway nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Stone, Sand & Gravel Review, March/April 2011 17 >

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - March/April 2011

Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - March/April 2011
Events Calendar
Legislative & Regulatory Calendar
Senate Majority Leader Welcomes NSSGA Members to His Native State
Welcome to Las Vegas!
The United States Must Have a Federal Commitment to Infrastructure
Reach Out to Your Peers With “One-to-Five”
What the Anatomy of a Legislative Success Looks Like
How Planning Ahead Will Enhance Your AGG1 Experience and Generate Your Highest ROI
Boxley Reports on the Company’s Sustainability Program – Greener. Smarter. Better.™
Pursuing Sustainable Business Initiatives From a Large Business Perspective
Learn Your New Congressional Leadership
Rip ’N Share Safety Handout
Products & Services Guide Listings
Buyers’ Guide

Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - March/April 2011