The following is a statement by K.N. Gunalan “Guna.” Ph.D., P.E., President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in response to the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee’s 2020 surface transportation infrastructure bill, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act:
“The INVEST in America Act is a step forward to bring our nation’s roads, bridges, rail, and transit systems into a state of good repair. We are pleased to see Chairman DeFazio propose a 5-year, $494 billion investment with an emphasis on resilience as we quickly approach the expiration of the current surface transportation authorization, the FAST Act, on September 30.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our transportation systems were already facing a large maintenance backlog with an investment gap of $1 trillion. The INVEST in America Act acknowledges the dramatic decline in transportation revenue streams caused by the global pandemic in the short-term and recognizes the long-term positive economic impacts that will be created by investing in our nation’s infrastructure.
Americans were already losing at least $3,400 a year in disposable income due to outdated infrastructure prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. An investment in our surface transportation infrastructure now is also a much-needed investment in our struggling economy, as it will add millions of jobs and support manufacturing – at a time that American citizens need it more than ever.
Investment in infrastructure has long enjoyed bipartisan support, and we would urge the House to seek input from both sides of the aisle moving forward as the bill advances to mark-up.
We strongly urge Congress to work together to ensure that a bipartisan bill with appropriate level of funding reach the President by September 30. American families are counting on action to modernize our D+ infrastructure and to improve their quality of life.”