The Business Council of Alabama and 30 Chambers of Commerce and similar statewide business associations has signed a position statement urging Congress to pass critical transportation infrastructure legislation.
Congress faces a critical crossroads as it begins to discuss both the solvency of the Federal Highway Trust Fund as well as reauthorization of the surface transportation bill passed in 2012, according to the State Chamber Policy Center. The transportation bill – Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21 – expires in six months.
“In order to ensure stability and economic growth, we need to plan its successor now,” the statement signed by BCA President and CEO William J. Canary said. “We urge you to act now to strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and provide our economy with the support it needs to remain a global economic leader.”
The BCA is one of 31 statewide business associations signing the document in support of strong national transportation investment.
The letter was sent Tuesday to Alabama’s congressional delegation, members of Congress, and the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Congress is being asked to re-authorize the federal transportation bill and its funding for a minimum of five years; dedicate federal funds to ensure solvency of the Highway Trust Fund; give states flexibility in investing in transportation infrastructure as they see fit; and, give states the freedom to choose their own funding options.
The American Society of Civil Engineers last year gave the United States a score of D-plus on its report card for America’s infrastructure. The Society said the nation’s infrastructure needs an estimated $3.6 trillion in investment by 2020.
“Our deteriorating national transportation infrastructure is not a small state issue or a large state issue,” the letter stated. “It is a national issue and it directly impacts America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.”