September 5, 2007

Washington, D.C.—The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) today submitted a statement of support for the National Highway System Bridge Reconstruction Initiative that includes a potential increase to the federal excise on gasoline, which continues to be the most reliable, fairest and easily administered user fee.

“This targeted, nationwide bridge reconstruction program is an appropriate response to the tragic collapse of a span of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis and to our country’s pressing needs,” said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.

Twelve percent, or approximately 72,000, of the nation’s bridges are classified as “structurally deficient.” Bridges are just one component of the nation’s transportation network that supports our $14 trillion economy; other system needs exist and require solutions to address a variety of mobility challenges.

“We face a looming infrastructure crisis in this country which involves all modes of infrastructure from surface transportation to aviation, from water infrastructure and flood control to navigation,” added Sandherr. “The National Highway System Bridge Reconstruction Initiative is an important first step towards fixing the long-term neglect of our nation’s aging and deteriorating infrastructure.”

In its support for increasing investment in transportation infrastructure and a potential increase in the federal excise on gasoline, AGC recommends that it be indexed to account for the expected inflation in construction costs that will diminish the purchasing power of this funding increase in the future.

“Indexing this user fee to account for inflation will help our country avoid future catastrophes,” Sandherr noted.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents nearly 33,000 firms, including 7,000 of America’s leading general contractors and 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 AGC members are "Building Your Quality of Life.”

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