Rock Products Logo
 

 

 
 

Senators to Introduce America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019


Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) will introduce America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) of 2019. The bill is the largest highway legislation in history.

The bill authorizes $287 billion over five years, including $259 billion for formula programs to maintain and repair America’s roads and bridges. The total represents an increase of more than 27% from FAST Act levels. The legislation includes provisions to improve road safety, streamline project delivery, protect the environment and grow the economy. The committee leaders agree the legislation will be paid for.

Barrasso and Carper serve as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW). Capito and Cardin serve as chairman and ranking member of the EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Every American benefits from better roads and bridges. America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act is a bill for the whole country,” said Barrasso. “The legislation is the most substantial highway infrastructure bill in history. By modernizing our roads and bridges, we can make the roads safer for every family driving on them. The bill cuts Washington red tape, so road construction can get done faster, better, cheaper, and smarter. It will help create jobs and support our strong, growing, and healthy economy. Infrastructure is critical to our country and we should responsibly pay for this legislation. I want to thank Ranking Member Carper and all the members of the committee for their work and input on this legislation. America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act will grow the economy, make our roads safer, and enhance quality of life for the American people.”

“After months of bipartisan negotiation, I’m proud to introduce this surface transportation reauthorization bill that would make an unprecedented investment to improve our nation’s roads, highways, and bridges, and make our country’s transportation infrastructure work better for every American in every zip code,” said Carper. “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act will move our country toward a safer, more connected, efficient and climate-friendly transportation system, one that can endure the test of time and keep up with the evolving demands of a 21st century global economy. This bipartisan legislation includes the first-ever climate title in a highway bill and would invest $10 billion in policies and innovative projects aimed at reducing emissions and enhancing resilience. We’re just getting started, but I look forward to moving this bill out of committee this week and the work ahead of us to get it across the finish line.”

“Having safe, reliable infrastructure is critically important to so many aspects of our lives – from getting to and from work and school or traveling long distances to supporting commerce and driving economic growth. Not only will this comprehensive, bipartisan legislation help us rebuild and repair America’s infrastructure system, but it will also help create new infrastructure opportunities now and for future generations,” said Capito. “I’m proud of the work my colleagues and I have done on this legislation, especially several provisions I included in the bill to focus on rural states like West Virginia and to encourage development and improve infrastructure, including both surface and broadband infrastructure, in Appalachia. I look forward to continuing our work together to advance this legislation – which I’m certain will help improve travel on roads, bridges, and highways, as well as quality of life, for Americans across the country.”

“Investing in America’s infrastructure is one of the most effective ways Congress and the federal government can spur economic growth todayand into the future, while preparing our communities for changes in climate and extreme weather,” said Cardin. “This bipartisan bill incorporates new programs and improvements to existing programs that will be vital for Maryland’s economy and quality of life, including investments in freight infrastructure, bicycle and pedestrian access, climate change resilience, and the rehabilitation and replacement of bridges. Ensuring the future of our roads and paths, bridges and tunnels, is an investment in the future of all American neighborhoods.”

Among other provisions, the legislation:

  • Authorizes $287 billion in highway spending and is the most substantial highway legislation in history;
  • Authorizes $259 billion to be distributed to states by formula;
  • Codifies key tenets of the “One Federal Decision” policy to streamline project delivery and federal approvals; 
  • Establishes a program to support projects that will improve the resiliency of roads and bridges to natural disasters and extreme weather events; and 
  • Authorizes a mix of formula-based and grant-based programs to begin to reduce transportation-related emissions.

National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) President and CEO Michael W. Johnson issued the following statement applauding the release of the ATIA. 

“We strongly support the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act released today by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  Aggregates producers not only stand ready to build and rebuild America’s infrastructure, we also rely on a dependable, efficient transportation system in our daily lives. “The ATIA will provide much needed funding to maintain and repair America’s roads and bridges. This is a positive step in addressing necessary infrastructure investment. Our nation’s roads, bridges, highways and the many other aspects of our infrastructure are in need of repair, improvement and advancement to meet the needs of todayand tomorrow.Bold steps such as today’s bill are critical to address infrastructure investment across the board for America’s economic future.“I commend the bipartisan leadership of the [Senate Environment and Public Works Committee]," Johnson said. "Their commitment to provide this level of funding is a very positive step forward.  We look forward to working with the committee as the legislation moves forward and urge the Senate to pass the ATIA.”

“Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) commends the Environment & Public Works Committee’s leadership for working in a bipartisan manner to provide a framework for essential investments in our nation’s surface transportation infrastructure,” said AED's President and CEO Brian P. McGuire. “The America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act is a great step to modernizing the United States’ decaying roads and bridges while creating sustained economic growth and job creation, improving our nation’s safety and security, and enhancing quality of life for all Americans. Construction equipment dealers are eager to provide the machinery to rebuild the country and AED urges support for the legislation.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Transportation and Infrastructure Ed Mortimer released the following statement regarding the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019.

“The U.S. Chamber applauds Senator Barrasso and Senator Carper for taking an important first step to modernize America’s infrastructure by passing the largest highway investment authorization in history. This five-year, $287 billion legislation is a twenty-five percent increase over current funding levels, and will also importantly create a new bridge program to address the structurally deficient bridges in America. This is a great first step to keep Americans safe by modernizing our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to get a long-term infrastructure bill enacted into law."

“We thank the Senate EPW Committee for officially beginning the reauthorization process today,” said Jim Tymon, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' executive director. “Getting this important legislation enacted by next fall is something every state DOT strongly supports.”

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) president Dennis Slater also issued a statement on the introduction of the legislation:
 
“We applaud the work of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in introducing a bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bill and moving that bill through Committee with unanimous approval,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “The America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) will provide the resources necessary to maintain and improve our nation’s surface transportation assets. That is good for equipment manufacturers and communities across the country. Our industry depends on the strength of our nation’s infrastructure to transport the equipment we make across the country and around the world. That same equipment is also critical in the construction and maintenance of nearly all aspects of our nation’s infrastructure network. While this is a step in the right direction, we will continue to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to secure a comprehensive infrastructure package that provides adequate, sustainable, long-term funding to modernize and improve our nation’s entire infrastructure portfolio.”

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President and CEO Dave Bauer noted that the reports of the death of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill have been greatly exaggerated, at least when it comes to transportation policy. “The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee is to be commended for their leadership in working together to produce a proposal that has earned support from both sides of the aisle," he said.
 
“The Senate proposal represents the first program reauthorization bill in nearly 15 years that would significantly increase federal investment in highway safety and mobility improvements," Bauer said. "The committee’s early action is a critical first step in the lengthy legislative process. It’s also a welcome departure from the series of extensions and years of delay that have plagued the last few surface transportation bills.
 
“We urge the Senate Commerce, Banking and Finance Committees to take timely action early this fall on their respective policy and financing components of the measure," Bauer concluded. "Final passage of a bill this year provides a meaningful opportunity for members of Congress and the Trump administration to deliver on the infrastructure investment promise they have been making since the 2016 elections.” 

And finally, National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) President and CEO Audrey Copeland released the following statement.

“NAPA welcomes the introduction of the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act. ATIA includes funding for $287 billion of real infrastructure investment over five years, which will make a significant improvement in the nation’s ability to move goods and people freely and efficiently. By acting in a bipartisan manner, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee are setting the stage for timely reauthorization of the nation’s surface highway program. Providing funding certainty to state departments of transportation is critical to ensuring that agencies can continue to improve public roads without delay. The asphalt pavement industry stands ready to repair, improve, and expand the roads that connect every community in America, and NAPA looks forward to working with Congress as ATIA moves through the legislative process on its way to becoming law.”