AASHTO: Long-term transportation infrastructure funding needed

AASHTO is launching a campaign to raise public awareness of the need for long-term public investment in transportation infrastructure.
AASHTO is launching a campaign to raise public awareness of the need for long-term public investment in transportation infrastructure. | Contributed photo

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) launched a media campaign on Wednesday that calls on lawmakers to focus on long-term infrastructure investment needs rather than short-term fixes.

AASHTO hopes the campaign, “Nation at a Crossroads," will inspire policymakers to make changes that will benefit the country’s transportation needs, commerce priorities and overall quality of life. The group said that simply patching small problems in small areas with little funding will not keep up with fast-changing times.

The campaign has produced a video, an infographic, printed materials and a mobile app dedicated to this ideal. The goal is to make the public develop a national perspective on transportation.

AASHTO and the American Public Transportation Association agreed in their 2015 “Bottom Line Report” that investment levels need federal assistance to provide adequate services for U.S. citizens. Studies show the combined transportation expenditures by federal, state and local governments are below the levels needed to maintain infrastructure and keep pace with rising rates in population and freight traffic.

“Instead of focusing on crumbling infrastructure, we ask the questions: What if our system could keep up? How much brighter could our future be?” Bud Wright, executive director of AASHTO, said. “The reality is that the recent pattern of short-term funding actions hampers states’ ability to even plan for the next construction season.”

Experts expect the Highway Trust Fund to be empty by this summer, with federal surface transportation authorization terminating in May.

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American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 444 North Capitol St NW Suite 249 Washington, DC - 20001

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