While it might not be as amusing as this, this week U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that a quality transportation network is important to the future of the nation and he urged Congress to quickly adopt a multi-year surface transportation bill. Secretary Foxx did so as he rolled through a few southern states in a bus he named the Grow America Express, a nod to the name of the Obama Administration’s surface transportation authorization bill. Foxx made visits to multiple states to promote the administration’s plan, at times accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden in both North and South Carolina.
Along the way, ASCE region, section and branch leaders met with the Secretary and reminded him of the importance that civil engineers place on a well-funded, multi-year transportation bill. On his trip, the Secretary made time to meet with civil engineering students at Florida A&M University and underscored to them the significance of robust public infrastructure investment to their future profession.
ASCE members greeted Secretary Foxx and participated in events with Vice President Biden at the following locations:
- Tallahassee, FL: David Crombie, E.I., A.M.ASCE (ASCE Tallahassee Branch Vice President) and Jeremy Clark, P.E., M.ASCE (ASCE Tallahassee Branch President)
- Charleston, SC: Chuck Black, P.E., M. ASCE (ASCE South Carolina Section, Eastern Branch Director)
- Columbia, SC: Edward Owens, P.E, M.ASCE (ASCE South Carolina Section President) and Petrina Butler, P.E., M.ASCE (ASCE Upstate South Carolina Branch President) and Jennifer Muster, P.E.,M.ASCE (ASCE Upstate South Carolina Branch)
- Charlotte, NC: Daniel Bridges, P.E, M.ASCE (ASCE North Carolina Section President)
- Raleigh, NC: Robert Cagle, P.E, F.ASCE (ASCE Region 4 Governor)
- Washington, DC: Veronica Davis, P.E, M.ASCE (ASCE Transportation Policy Committee member) and Robert Victor, P.E, F.ASCE (ASCE Committee on America’s Infrastructure member)
Next week, Congress returns to Washington where the Beltway debate will refocus on the need for a long-term transportation bill. Legislators will have to determine a way to pay for the measure, with at least $13 billion more required annually for deposit in the federal Highway Trust Fund to avoid road, bridge and transit construction cuts. ASCE staff and members will continue to engage lawmakers in the District as well as back home in an effort to generate more attention on the need for an urgent fix on this issue.