Funding is asphalt industry’s biggest challenge

The biggest challenge for the asphalt industry is funding, says Bill Tomlinson, Lane Construction district operation manager for South Carolina and Florida.

He was speaking to Congressman James Clyburn who toured Orangeburg’s  South Carolina, Lane Construction site on Thursday afternoon.

“There simply is not enough money to maintain our existing infrastructure,” Tomlinson said. “We do need roads, but we must not lose sight of taking care of our existing investment in our current highway system.”

South Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association’s executive director, Ashley Batson said the asphalt industry brings 4,583 jobs and a $1.1 billion output to the state.

Congressman James Clyburn toured Orangeburg’s  South Carolina, Lane Construction on Thursday afternoon, saying he continues to support transportation infrastructure.

“When it comes to transportation, when it comes to energy, I am probably the biggest cheerleader that you will find in Congress,” Clyburn told a group of employees. “I will fight on those issues. I have been in Congress long enough to know how to fight effectively.”

Clyburn, a Democrat, is seeking a 12th term in the US House representing District 6. He faces Republican Anthony Culler on Nov. 4.

Tomlinson told Clyburn that transportation is the most important industry in the country. “Nobody does anything without using our products or services. Everybody drove here in a vehicle on a road somebody in our industry built. You don’t go to church, to school, a grocery store or vacation without using some of these roads our industry built. This is the only industry that will never be shipped overseas.”

“You will never see a ‘Made in China’ label on any of our roads and bridges, ever,” he said.

Clyburn said his position as the liaison for the US House Appropriations Committee allows him to have input on the formation of the US budget.

He said the transportation industry is an economic driver where for every $1 billion spent on highway infrastructure about 49,000 jobs are created.


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