The National Asphalt Pavement Association officially releases its report, "Recommendations to Congress on the Reauthorizations of TEA-21." This report urges Congress to give careful consideration to the future funding needs of America’s highways.
The report calls on Congress to recognize the comprehensive nature of the nation’s transportation system and renew the federal government’s commitment to the highway network in the United States. "The fact is that nearly 90 percent of all daily and long-distance trips are in an automobile, and funding allocations in the next transportation bill need to reflect that," said Mike Acott, president of NAPA. "While the other modes of transportation are important, highways play a critical role which must not become lost in the debate," he added.
The report also includes NAPA’s proposal to authorize new Hot Mix Asphalt Research and Technology Program aimed at longer-lasting, safer pavements. Under the proposal, the U.S. Department of Transportation would undertake a new, long-term Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) pavement research program in the United States. The program would be managed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with input and oversight from state departments of transportation, universities and the HMA industry.
"We see the HMA Research and Technology Program as a truly cooperative partnership taking advantage of existing infrastructure within the FHWA coupled with strong day-to-day support from the HMA industry, academia and the state transportation departments," said Acott.
On other highway pavement issues, the report recommends stable and adequate funding for highways to reduce congestion and improve road conditions to make them safer. This can best be achieved by drawing down the balance in the Highway Trust Fund, continuing TEA-21’s firewall and budget guarantees, and requiring that alternative fuels like ethanol, fully contribute to the Highway Trust Fund. The report also recommends that Congress consider other ways to close the gap between actual funding levels and the amount needed to maintain and improve the current highway system, including increasing the federal gas tax.
A copy of the report may be obtained by calling 888/468-6499.
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