The American Concrete Pavement Association's board of directors has approved a resolution formally supporting the recently released consensus report, "Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future."
The report and plan were the result of language in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST Act), which called for the Transportation Research Board (TRB) to conduct a study on the actions needed to upgrade and restore the Interstate and Defense Highway System.
From the study, the action plan was developed and includes 10 key recommendations to Congress, including innovative concepts and actionable measures that are favorable to state transportation agencies, taxpayers, highway users, and the transportation-construction industry.
One of the key points of the study is that current spending levels are too low and that $45B to $70B are needed annually over the next 20 years to undertake the long-deferred rebuilding of pavements and bridges, as well as to accommodate and manage growing user demand. This figure applies to Interstate highways only and not the full Federal-aid highway system or other highways.
The plan is seen as viable and credible in part because of TRB's world-class reputation in transportation research. TRB is one of seven program units of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which provides independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conducts other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.
The oversight committee also adds credibility because it was comprised of 14 prominent professionals representing the public and private sectors and academia. Among those are the Honorable Norman Mineta (former U.S Representative and U.S. Secretary of Transportation) and Norman Augustine, the chair of the TRB board of directors.
ACPA is hopeful that this well-crafted plan (in whole or in part) will be incorporated in the next transportation reauthorization legislation.
The complete report may be purchased or downloaded as a free PDF document from the TRB website at https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25334/renewing-the-national-commitment-to-the-interstate-highway-system-a-foundation-for-the-future/. Registration may be required prior to downloading.
For more information, visit www.acpa.org.