Washington, D.C.—The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) today announced its support for a “National Highway Bridge Reconstruction Initiative,” unveiled by Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the wake of last week’s collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. The initiative would provide dedicated funding to states to repair, rehabilitate and replace structurally deficient bridges on the National Highway System (NHS).
“We applaud Chairman Oberstar for his prompt action to improve public safety and public confidence in the stability of our nation’s bridges,” said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.
The initiative, which is expected to be introduced in the House when Congress returns in September, has four main components:
• Significantly Improves Bridge Inspection Requirements. Requires the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and states to significantly improve the processes for inspection of structurally deficient bridges.
• Provides Dedicated Funding. Provides dedicated funding to repair, rehabilitate and replace structurally deficient bridges on the NHS.
• Distributes Funds based on Public Safety and Need. Requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop an administrative formula for distributing all funds. Prohibits any Congressional or Administration earmarks.
• Establishes NHS Bridge Reconstruction Trust Fund. Establishes an NHS Bridge Reconstruction Trust Fund, modeled after the Highway Trust Fund, to finance the repair, rehabilitation and replacement of structurally deficient NHS bridges.
The sources and amount of dedicated revenue will be determined after FHWA and the states provide additional data on the costs to finance the repair, rehabilitation and replacement of structurally deficient NHS bridges.
AGC is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents more than 32,000 firms, including 7,000 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 11,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web site at www.agc.org. AGC members are "Building Your Quality of Life.”