The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has expressed disappointment with Congress’ failure to pass a long-term reauthorization of surface transportation.
In a statement, the organization said the short-term extension of the FAST law until December 3 would leave transportation services on hold.
“For the second time in a month, Congress has passed a short-term extension of surface transportation programs, once again leaving state transportation departments in limbo,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of AASHTO . “We implore the House to pass, well before December 3, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a landmark bipartisan bill passed by the Senate nearly three months ago. It includes substantial increases in funding for all modes of transportation and allows for five-year funding stability for highway, transit, and passenger rail programs, which DOTs desperately need to provide a system of transportation. safe, efficient and multimodal transport.
Earlier this month, AASHTO released the results of a survey of member organizations showing the impact of the extensions in the short term. The survey provided more than 35 members with insight into the negative effects of short-term extensions in their states.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) said short-term funding had an impact on the state’s ability to plan and maintain larger projects.
“Short-term extensions and the lack of a long-term bill have huge impacts on Missouri’s investment program,” MoDOT responded to the survey. “We use most of our public funds for the routine operation and maintenance of our 34,000 mile system. We are heavily dependent on federal funds for our asset management program and for much needed improvements to our system in the areas of security and economic development. Without certainty of long-term funding, we have to step back from the planning and development of large projects, and our agenda becomes a month-to-month commitment. Contractors cannot make commitments on plant and equipment or labor, and the entire industry is essentially put on hold. “
Tymon urged Congress to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) before the December 3 deadline.
“AASHTO members need the certainty to plan transport projects to meet the needs of their communities and keep our economy moving, and the impact of these short-term expansions is not negligible,” Tymon said in a statement. “Congress must pass the IIJA immediately to mitigate the adverse effects of the absence of a long-term surface transportation bill.”