The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association in the US is continuing to push for a long-term solution to highway funding, after it was announced that the US Department of Transportation has estimated that the Highway Trust Fund will remain solvent until June 2016.
The Highway Trust Fund was extended on a short-term basis at the end of July, but that expires on 29 October (although it includes funding through to the end of the year). Work on a long-term solution is ongoing.
In July, the US Senate passed a six-year surface transportation authorisation: the ‘Developing a
Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act’ or the DRIVE Act, which will provide more than US$40 billion in revenues to cover shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund during the initial three years of the legislation’s six-year authorisation.
Senate Environment & Public Works Committee chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla, is disappointed with the DoT findings, saying that further delays would hamper the construction industry.
“If we don’t get this done when we’re scheduled to, we’re going to miss a construction season, an entire year,” he said.
DoT Secretary Anthony Foxx was in agreement, saying that if action is delayed until 2016 it could mean no further progress is made towards a solution, since ‘not a lot goes on in election years’.
More information on the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association’s work to push Congress on this matter can be found at www.AggregatesInAction.org.