The latest news from Washington, D.C. affecting the steel industry…
As the time grows closer to the upcoming presidential election, it is imperative to keep in mind our goals for improving our nation’s transportation infrastructure, including steel bridges. Steel is an extremely important part of our country’s economic and social history and has been for more than 200 years: The first metal suspension bridge built in America, the Jacobs Creek Bridge, is credited to James Finley and was completed in 1801, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Flash forward 211 years and the United States now supports more than 605,000 bridges and more than four million miles of roads and streets, all of which are critical to moving people, goods and services across state and international lines as we compete in a global economy.
Our previous transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, was extended ten times before President Obama signed into law the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” or MAP-21. The current bill guarantees $121 billion in funding for highways and bridges and $31.7 for public transportation through the 2014 fiscal year. Since the interim bill is woefully underfunded, states don’t have enough certainty to plan for larger, long-term projects, leaving our fabricators to suffer through a very slow construction market.
The National Steel Bridge Alliance and the American Institute of Steel Construction strongly encourage membership to get involved by contacting elected officials in the House and Senate and reminding them how critical transportation funding is to your company, employees and families. Now is the time to educate your elected officials on the importance of a long standing, robustly funded transportation system—we won’t be satisfied with another extension. Click here to learn more about MAP-21 and to contact your representative.