ARTBA initiates task force to shape year 2009 Federal Highway program reauthorization bill

News ARTBA September 23, 2005
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The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) is forming a member task force to develop the group’s legislative agenda for reauthorization of the “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users” (SAFETEA-LU), due in 2009. The initiative was announced September 16 at the ARTBA Annual Meeting, held in Palm Beach, Fla.

“While 2009 may seem like a long way off, we must begin setting the agenda now to help frame the reauthorization policy debate,” 2005-06 ARTBA Chairman Gene McCormick said.

“The association’s eight membership divisions represent the major public and private sectors of the U.S. transportation construction industry,” McCormick, a senior vice president and chairman of the board of Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas said. “Their participation in the task force will ensure the resulting ARTBA reauthorization proposals represent the industry’s consensus position on highway and public transit financing, policy and regulatory issues.”

McCormick, who served as Federal Highway deputy administrator from 1989-93, said the task force would report on its proceedings at the ARTBA 2006 Annual Meeting to be held September 26-29 in San Diego, Calif.

In 1999, ARTBA initiated a similar member task force to develop the association’s legislative blueprint for the reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). More than 100 ARTBA members participated in that policy process. ARTBA issued a 72-page report in May 2001 with the association’s policy proposals, which was distributed to all members of Congress, federal agencies and the White House.

Many of ARTBA’s transportation investment and financing, environmental and roadway construction zone safety recommendations were incorporated into SAFETEA-LU, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 10, 2005.

SAFETEA-LU provides total guaranteed funding of $286.5 billion over the period fiscal years 2004-09--$227.6 billion for the federal-aid highway program; $52.6 billion for state and local transit programs; and $6.3 billion for the highway safety activities.

McCormick said ARTBA also will be working to help ensure full and accurate implementation of SAFETEA-LU.

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