Highway Users urges Congress to invest in infrastructure in next stimulus package

© Shutterstock

In a letter to Congress, the American Highway Users Alliance (Highway Users) urged lawmakers to provide funding for infrastructure in the next COID-19 relief package.

The group of more than 300 organizations, trade associations, safety advocacy groups, and motoring clubs, asked Congress to increase federal aid for highway funding with an infusion of $50 billion to state Departments of Transportation to be used for any surface transportation block grant program-eligible project.

The group also called on Congress to reauthorize FAST Act funding before it expires at the end of September.

“Focusing on our highway and transportation infrastructure in a relief package will help with our recovery effort and, at the same time, would infuse a long overdue investment that is cost beneficial to every American,” the group said in its letter. “In fact, the 23rd edition of the USDOT’s Conditions and Performance Report on Highways, Bridges and Transit identifies a $786.4 billion backlog of highway and bridge investments. The Highway Users strongly encourage the preservation of the 80/20 split for highways and transit due to the truly massive needs that exist on our highways and bridges.”

Highway Users said that without federal aid, the backlog would grow because of problems with the economy struggling to recover after being shut down due to the coronavirus. The group also urged Congress to address the Highway Trust Fund.

“The HTF, which provides a steady source of investment for our essential transportation infrastructure, needs to be shored up as revenues decline from reductions in fuel consumption and sales tax revenue due to COVID-19. Congress should make a significant investment in the trust fund to pay for a long-term transportation authorization and help our Nation with its recovery.”

The investment into the infrastructure would create jobs that pay well and are performed in safe distances away from co-workers.