‘DRIVE Act’ adds $8 billion to Fund ROADS, Bridges through 2021
ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 23, 2015– The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee introduced a six-year bill to fund the upkeep and expansion of the nation’s roads, highways and bridges. While the bill is an increase over its predecessor, MAP-21, the necessary funding sources require the Senate Finance Committee to act.
“Finally, there is progress to put America’s infrastructure back to where it needs to be so we can grow the economy and create jobs,” said Michael W. Johnson, president and CEO of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA).
EPW Committee Chairman and bill sponsor Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., added that “[t]he DRIVE Act will help set the tone for America’s economic future by putting our nation back on the map as the best place to do business.”
The DRIVE Act increases highway spending from $37.8 billion under the current MAP-21 to $45.5 billion in 2021. Over six years, $257.5 billion will be sent to the states.
Due to MAP-21’s numerous extensions and uncertainty surrounding federal funding, many states have delayed projects due to questionable federal support.
“The DRIVE Act will provide states and local communities with the certainty they deserve to plan and construct infrastructure projects efficiently,” Inhofe said.
“This is a solid first step toward a long-term highway bill, but the trickier part is for Congress to figure out how to pay for it,” Johnson said. “As our economy depends on an efficient, safe and well-maintained system of roads, highways and bridges, NSSGA’s number one legislative priority is to keep the pressure on Congress to enact a long-term and stably funded surface transportation bill.”
To view a summary of the bill, click here.
To view the full text of the bill, click here.
NSSGA is the leading advocate for the aggregates industry. Its members – stone, sand and gravel producers and the equipment manufacturers and service providers who support them – produce the essential raw materials found in homes, buildings, roads, bridges and public works projects and represent more than 90 percent of the crushed stone and 70 percent of the sand and gravel mined annually in the United States. Production of aggregates in the U.S. in 2013 totaled more than 2 billion metric tons at a value of $18.6 billion. The aggregates industry employs approximately 100,000 highly-skilled men and women.