The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) called on Congress to act immediately to reauthorize the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). The legislation expired on Sept. 30, 2003, and has operated under short-term extensions for 468 days. AGC supports a multiyear reauthorization at the Senate-passed funding level in order to create jobs, reduce congestion, upgrade road conditions and save lives.
"We are calling on Congress to pass TEA-21 reauthorization immediately before we lose another dollar's worth of purchasing power, another life to substandard roads and before America loses its competitive edge," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr at a joint press conference on Jan. 11 in Washington, D.C., with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). "Without a federal commitment, states will be forced to continue to delay work on vitally needed transportation improvements."
In January 2001, AGC issued its recommendations for TEA-21 reauthorization to increase funding and create a more efficient process and safer environment for construction workers. Since then, AGC has worked with Congress to implement the following changes:
- Ensuring that ethanol users pay their fare share, thereby increasing highway trust fund receipts by an estimated $24 billion over six years;
- Reforming the review process by streamlining historic preservation procedures; and
- Including provisions in both the House and Senate bills to make highway work zones safer for workers and motorists by increased use of positive barriers and encouraging the enforcement of traffic laws around workzones.
At a time when approximately 84% of U.S. goods are delivered via the highway system, AGC is committed to maintaining and improving America's road conditions.