Better Roads: Time to start applying pressure on Congress for transportation bill replacement

Updated May 9, 2013

CongressCiting a report from the Congressional Budget Office that details a nearly bankrupt Highway Trust Fund and the real possibility of needing to dive into the General Fund in order to replace the current MAP-21 transportation bill, John Latta of our sister site Better Roads suggests highway contractors begin talking to their representatives about the importance of coming up with a sustainable replacement in 2015.

According to the CBO, starting in 2015 the Highway Trust Fund will not have the money to meet all of its obligations which will result in steadily accumulating shortfalls. Since 2008, Congress has dipped into the General Fund to avoid such shortfalls. So far $41 billion has been transferred into the Highway Trust Fund and an additional $14 billion would be needed to prevent shortfalls in 2015.

But dipping into the General Fund means competing for funding with everyone else who needs to dip into the General Fund. Rather than that, John urges contractors to contact their representatives, forward them the CBO report and reiterate the job losses, traffic congestion and projects that won’t get started unless they take action.

A few things lawmakers could do to address the shortfall on the horizon include reducing spending for surface transportation program, boosting revenues or a combination of the two.

Read John’s full column over at Better Roads.