The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved, by a unanimous vote, a draft bill that would extend federal surface transportation programs through January 31, 2012. The legislation would be a clean extension of surface transportation programs and allows the Committee time to continue work on the Senate proposed two year surface transportation authorization bill. The current extension will expire on September 30th.
ASCE has worked closely with Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer to speak with committee members and express the essential nature of another extension. On Wednesday ASCE sent a letter to Senators who serve on the Environment and Public Work Committee urging the need for another extension, while a long term authorization is worked out.
Following the vote this morning, ASCE President Elect Andrew Herrmann, P.E., SECB, F.ASCE, stated “The American Society of Civil Engineers applauds the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for supporting an essential funding authorization for the nation’s roads and public transportation systems. Today’s vote extending the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users – or “SAFETEA-LU” – for an additional four months ensures that 1.8 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be protected in the near term. “While we are heartened by the bipartisan support for this law, a four-month extension at current funding levels represents the bare minimum of what must be done to address our nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. America’s transportation system is the very backbone of our economy. If current funding levels are maintained long term – or if funding levels are cut – America can expect to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic growth over the next ten years. To ensure a prosperous and competitive economic future, ASCE urges Congress to increase long-term investment in the country’s deteriorating infrastructure.”
ASCE urges Congress to increase long-term investment in the country’s deteriorating infrastructure and pass a multi-year surface transportation authorization. If the nations does not invest in surface transportation now, in the next ten years our nation’s economy is at risk of losing nearly $900 billion according to the ASCE surface transportation economic study that was released in July. ASCE will keep all Key Contacts up to date as the latest extension is passed in the Senate and worked on in the House.