Industry lobbyists, the Highways Materials Group (HMG), has written to both houses in Washington asking for “the immediate use of $49.95 billion in flexible federal funding to offset the significant revenues shortfalls facing state Department of Transportation (DoT) budgets.”
In a stark warning to Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, HMG says: “As you well know, state and local governments who are on the front lines of fighting the (Covid-19) virus, delivering benefits and providing critical emergency services, are facing daunting budget shortfalls.
“The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) calculates that state DoT budgets will experience at least a 30% revenue drop over the next 18 months as vehicle and mass transit travel continues to decrease.
“These funds are necessary in order to prevent major disruptions in their ability to operate and maintain their transportation systems during this national emergency.
“Without Congressional action, state DoT budgets will be severely limited in allocating much-needed investments to improve their infrastructure, resulting in further job loss and economic decline.”
According to HMG, whose membership comprises the American Coal Ash Association; the American Concrete Pavement Association; the American Traffic Safety Services Association; Associated Equipment Distributors, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers; the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute; the National Asphalt Pavement Association; the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association; the Portland Cement Association and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute: “This work is paramount to our economy as we improve commerce, congestion, water and energy delivery and so much more.”