FP2 has been following the transportation and infrastructure activities since the introduction of the House bill in 2019 and all the additional work by both the Senate and House Committees ever since. Related to the most recent infrastructure bill specifically, we have been advocating on the following issues along with a host of other industry groups and associations:
- Passage of a long-term funding highway reauthorization bill with a sustainable Highway Trust Fund. The Highway Trust Fund must be modified to accommodate the technology of the future to ensure we can maintain and preserve our infrastructure and augment it where needed.
- Prioritize implementation of FHWA’s Pavement Preservation Strategic Plan, December 2020 and provide financial resources to support operationalizing recommendations. The Pavement Preservation Strategic plan highlights the benefits of utilizing a long-term pavement preservation strategy while laying out a road map to advance effective adoption. This will lead to better life cycle planning with safer better road surfaces at lower economic and environmental cost.
- Ensure policies and funding within the Highway Reauthorization bill to increase the understanding of the environmental, safety, and economic benefits of long-term pavement preservation strategies and promote their implementation. Include research funds to benchmark the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of pavement preservation treatments and programs.
- Automated Vehicle studies in the Highway Reauthorization or Infrastructure bill should include additional funds to study the impact AV’s will have on pavement condition and determine how effective pavement preservation strategies would minimize the impact.
An issue that came up recently, which builds on industry goals, is increasing the eligibilities of a new $8 billion carbon reduction program to include carbon emissions reduction associated with lower carbon pavement designs, materials and practices. To this end, Senators Wicker (R-MS) and Stabenow (D-MI) have introduced amendment #2206 to the Infrastructure bill. In a separate email, I will send you the one pager which includes the other associations supporting including: NAPA, PCA, ARTBA, NSSGA. We have been reaching out to offices to support this amendment and vote for the bill. FP2 has also signed on to a construction industry letter supporting the bill which will go to Senate offices.
The 2,702 page bipartisan infrastructure legislation was officially released on August 2, providing $550 billion in spending above budget baseline over five years. Shortly after releasing the bill Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offered the Sinema-Portman amendment as a substitute for the House passed H.R. 3684, “The INVEST in America Act.” The amendment is now SA 2137. The Senate intends to vote on amendments and then on final passage as early as Thursday. The proposal includes $110 billion in spending above baseline to address the aging infrastructure needs of the nation’s roads and bridges. $55.48 billion will be for Federal Highway Administration contract authority (included in the EPW bill) and $55.52 billion will be for one-time general fund guaranteed appropriations.
At this juncture, the best thing for members to do is contact their Senators, if they have not already done so, and urge support for passage of the bill and the Wicker-Stabenow amendment #2206 to the bill. To learn more and ways to reach out to your Senators, please visit: https://fp2.org/advocacy-for-preservation/talking-points-for-preservation/