March 26, 2019 3:15 PM, EDT

Construction, Business Stakeholders Renew Push for Infrastructure Bill

Infrastructure BillPotholes on a Michigan road. ( Borka)

Groups representing the construction and business sectors are ramping up their calls for congressional action on an infrastructure measure this year.

The Transportation Construction Coalition and Americans for Transportation Mobility joined forces to urge federal lawmakers to pass legislation that would ensure long-term funding for big-ticket projects.

Included in the legislation should be a sustainable source of funding for the Highway Trust Fund, which relies on dwindling revenue from the 24.4 cents-per-gallon diesel tax and 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax.

INFRASTRUCTURE METER: How close are we to funding?

“Our transportation network remains the backbone of the U.S. economy. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of our roads, bridges and other transportation systems are in desperate need of improvements,” the groups wrote March 25. “The solution lies within a renewed commitment from our nation’s leaders to invest financially in America’s transportation infrastructure.”

The groups also noted that a Rasmussen Reports poll from Jan. 23-24 found nearly 90% of likely voters said they believe Democrats and President Donald Trump “should work together in 2019 to pass legislation that would improve … infrastructure.”

In May, the groups will launch television ads to mark the lead up of Infrastructure Week, a national advocacy campaign.

The Transportation Construction Coalition consists of 31 associations and labor unions and it is co-chaired by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association and the Associated General Contractors of America. Americans for Transportation Mobility was established by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Congressional transportation leaders have yet to unveil an infrastructure policy measure. The White House has expressed a willingness to legislate with top Democrats on an infrastructure bill.

According to analysts, the Highway Trust Fund is projected to approach insolvency in a couple of years. The fund is used to assist states. The fuel tax rate has remained unchanged since 1993.