AGC Supports Oberstar Bridge Initiative to Fund Infrastructure Improvements
AGC submitted a statement in support of the National Highway System Bridge Reconstruction Initiative at a hearing Wednesday in Washington D.C. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) called the hearing to address the nation's response to the 74,000 structurally deficient bridges recently highlighted by the tragic failure of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis.
The bridge reconstruction initiative would increase inspection standards for bridges on the National Highway System, provide dedicated funding to states distributed according to a needs based formula to address the deficient bridges, create a new Highway Trust Fund-like funding mechanism and increase the federal excise tax on gasoline by five cents to provide the new trust fund with necessary revenue. The initiative would also prohibit any of the funds from being earmarked for specific projects.
AGC noted that increasing the federal motor fuels tax on gasoline is vital to address not only bridge needs but transportation infrastructure needs in general. AGC called an increase in the gas tax renewed its long standing call for the gas tax to be indexed for inflation to ensure that the buying power of the revenue is maintained. AGC also recommended that states that have shifted more than 80 percent of their federal bridge funds to other needs should move down the priority list in receiving these new funds and AGC supports the provision to forbid earmarking.
A formal bill has not yet been introduced.
For more information, contact Karen Bachman at 202-547-4733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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