The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association testified yesterday’s at the House Small Business Committee on the need for a long-term, stably-funded highway bill.
Bill Schmitz, Gernatt Asphalt Products, represented the association at the hearing.
Schmitz said: “Our highway system infrastructure continues to deteriorate at a rate much faster than we are making repairs. Our local towns, counties and New York State DOT struggle to maintain adequate conditions, say nothing of reconstructing roads that have exceeded design life or design capacity.
“With federal funding in a continual state of limbo, states are unable to adequately plan for long term infrastructure repair and maintenance. With all this uncertainty small businesses, like ours, struggle to plan our futures. Our equipment is extremely expensive, so making huge capital equipment investments without a clear vision is difficult at best.
“Many things need to fall into place to do a project in the shortened construction seasons of the northern US While it may not seem like (a) long time, a four-week delay in funding or awarding contracts will cause a project to lose a complete construction season and add to its cost. This causes a ripple effect, affecting many businesses along the supply chain resulting in a great deal of economic distress.”
He will ask that Congress stop ‘kicking the can down the road’ and reauthorize funding for the long-term.