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Ready Mixed Concrete Industry Position:

The ready mixed concrete industry supports a fully funded, minimum 5-year surface transportation bill. New, comprehensive surface transportation network maintenance and growth investments should center on fostering and ensuring safety, economic growth, prosperity, mobility, environmental responsibility and international competitiveness.

Background:

On July 30, 2015, Congress passed another temporary patch and authorized an extension of surface transportation programs.H.R. 3236, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, extends Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act or MAP-21, for an additional three months and transfers close to $8 billion to keep the program afloat. MAP-21's new expiration date is fast approaching (October 29, 2015) and it is essential the reauthorization process start now to guarantee the continued investment in our nation’s surface transportation network.

Ready Mixed Concrete Industry’s Priorities:

A safe, efficient and effective transportation system enables economic growth, prosperity, and global competitiveness and is best supported by:

  • 5-year program: Congress must abandon the notion of allowing extension after extension after extension, and move toward a proactive, dedicated effort to continued passage of multi-year programs. Enactment of multi-year programs (not less than five years) creates the economic and market security necessary for continued maintenance, growth, planning and investment.
  • Comprehensive network: While maintaining and building new roads and bridges, Congress should give greater attention to ensuring that such construction employs a holistic approach. Transportation construction policies need to support a more fluid transition of moving material and goods from fields and factories to cargo transfer centers, from cargo transfer centers to marketplace, and from marketplace to homes and businesses. This fluidity helps improve the local, regional and national productivity and connectivity of business and private surface transportation network users alike.
  • Funding: Congress must take bold and decisive action to guarantee dedicated and continued surface transportation funding streams. To date, the most reliable and efficient method to finance surface transportation investments is the federal motor fuels user fees (gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas taxes). To meet the challenges of financing a 21st century surface transportation network enhanced and additional funding mechanisms will be needed and should be explored; such as (but not limited to), federal motor fuels tax increases and/or indexing, tolls, congestion pricing, public-private partnerships (PPPs), loans, bonds, a national infrastructure bank, a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax, and other potentially innovative mechanisms.
  • Safety: Achieving the highest level of safety on our nation’s surface transportation network is paramount for protecting the network’s users, the network itself, and supporting the uninterrupted movement of commerce and people. Safety schemes on our nation’s transportation network should strike a healthy balance between necessity, practicality and flexibility. Establishment of these safety procedures, systems and regulations need to be equitable for all covered parties.
  • Environment: Ensuring our nation’s surface transportation network is constructed to meet the needs and challenges of the 21st century will also achieve environmental benefits. Wise investments in surface transportation network maintenance and growth, including stiffer pavements, in part, lead to reduced congestion and thus less greenhouse gas emissions, fewer pollutants in our nation’s waterways, decreased noise pollution, reduced raw materials consumption, less construction material waste in our nation’s landfills, and a reduction in disturbances to our nation’s natural resources.

Required Action:

Making continued wise investments to build and maintain our nation’s surface transportation network ensures the nation’s safety, economic growth, prosperity, mobility, environmental responsibility and international competitiveness. The ready mixed concrete industry urges Congress to immediately start working on and pass a new fully funded, 5-year, comprehensive surface transportation bill.

Click here for a complete breakdown of federal transportation funding mechanisms.            (Provided by U.S. DOT, FHWA.)

Click here for a breakdown of state transportation funding mechanisms.                        (Provided by the American Road & Transportation Builders Assocation.)

Click here to find out the condition of your state's transportation network.                      (Provided by TRIP.)


On July 30, 2015 the House and Senate Agreed to a three month, $8 billion extension. 

Current Program Breakdown:

  • Length: 3 months
  • Funding: $8 billion
  • Highway Trust Fund: Extends HTF expenditure authority through October 29, 2015. MAP-21(previous authorization) extends motor fuels and other taxes deposited into the HTF through September 2016.
  • Funding sources: Highway Trust Fund receipts, General Fund transfer to the HTF, offset by Transportation Security Administration fees and additional tax complicance measures.

MAP-21 Authority on the following still applies: 

  • Project Delivery: Accelerates project delivery, in part, by speeding up the contract letting time, fast tracking environmental review timelines, and integrating planning and environmental reviews concurrently instead of consecutively.
  • Commercial Motor VehiclesIncreased penalties and/or out-of-service orders for an entire fleet for CMVs operating without proper registration, new penalties for failure to comply with a subpoena, and new penalties for patterns of safety violations and/or regulation evasion. Also directs US DOT to:
    • “Prescribe regulations” mandating that all CMVs install and use EOBRs for compliance with HOS rules;
    • Plan for the development and implementation of a national driver record notification system;
    • Issue final regulations establishing minimum entry-level training requirements for an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle; and
    • Establish, operate, and maintain a national clearinghouse for records relating to alcohol and controlled substances testing of commercial motor vehicle operators.
  • Studies: Nearly two dozen studies exist in the bill on a number of different issues, including on restart changes made in the recently finalized new hours of service (HOS) regulations, the pros and cons of increasing truck size and weight limits on federal-aid highways and compiling existing state truck size and weight regulations, crashworthiness of CMVs, and on how to get more CMV licenses to more military veterans.
  • Transportation Research: (courtesy of PCA)
    • Life Cycle Cost Analysis Provisions:
      • Asset Management/State Performance Plans:  Creates  a new asset management definition for states. The definition includes the use of cost analysis “over the lifecycle of the assets at minimum practical costs.” Also includes language concerning the contents of performance plans that requires the use of lifecycle cost and risk management analysis, and strengthens performance plans to require the “lowest overall lifecycle cost”.
      • Value Engineering on Bridge Projects:  The bill requires that when states use value engineering analysis on projects that they also use lifecycle cost analysis.
      • TIFIA Program: The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 (TIFIA) is amended to include the use of lifecycle cost analysis as part of the criteria for determining financial assistance from TIFIA. The bill authorizes $1.75 billion in TIFIA credit assistance.
      • Life Cycle Cost Analysis Study:  The bill requires the General Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General to conduct a study on the best practices for calculating lifecycle costs and benefits for federally funded highway projects, which shall include, at a minimum, a thorough literature review and a survey of current lifecycle cost practices of state departments transportation. The legislation defines lifecycle costs. The Comptroller General is directed to consult with AASHTO, appropriate lifecycle experts, and appropriate industry experts and research centers. The Comptroller General is required to submit a report to Congress no later than one year after enactment.
    • Pavement Research and Deployment Provision:
      • The bill includes language advocated by PCA, ACPA as well as in partnership with NAPA. The bill includes $12 million annually for accelerated pavement technology deployment. The language does not distinguish between concrete and asphalt pavement.

Click Here for Transportation Grassroots Resources