Michael W. Johnson, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) president and CEO, spoke at a press conference during the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “America’s Infrastructure: Time to Modernize” event.
Johnson stressed the need for immediate and sustained infrastructure investments. “The time is now. We are critically behind in funding the projects that we need in this country,” he said. “Anything of significance that you build – all these infrastructure projects for example – begins with a rock,” Johnson said. “Rocks build America.”
The stone, sand and gravel industry is both a heavy infrastructure user and a supplier of critical building materials. So Johnson called on local, grassroots involvement from the aggregates and other industries to push Congress to fund construction, repairs and improvements of roads, highways, bridges and more. “Without members of Congress hearing about this at home from their constituents, they’re not going to see this as important to address this year,” he said.
In another Chamber event, Tom Hill, president and CEO of Vulcan Materials Co., reemphasized the immediate need for America to rebuild its aging roads, bridges, highways and more.
“Imagine how much faster we could get this done if our leaders in Washington stepped up, like our local leaders and state legislators and voters have stepped up, to support infrastructure investment,” Hill said. “We’ve seen in the last few years 24 states raise funds through a gas tax increase, and 75 percent of ballot measures that addressed transportation or infrastructure passed in 2016 and 2017. As state after state has raised infrastructure revenues, those legislators have kept their jobs.”