ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane July 14 called on Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund during a speech at the West Virginia Transportation & Infrastructure Summit in Charleston. Ruane also outlined the important role federal transportation investment plays in the state’s economy.
The event was sponsored by the Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation, an initiative focused on boosting the state’s economy and started by U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller. In addition to Rockefeller, other summit speakers included U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, andHouse Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Rep. Nick Rahall.
“Since 2008, the federal government has taken $50 billion from general funds to fund the needs of the nation’s transportation infrastructure,” Ruane told the audience. “As Congress stalls on the Highway Trust Fund, seven states have already cut back on their highway projects while 28, including West Virginia, have announced their plans to scale back. But it doesn’t need to be that way. The opportunity is right there in front of us. Congress needs to seize the moment.”
“States can’t plan,” said Secretary Foxx, pointing out that Congress has passed 27 continuing resolutions to keep the trust fund afloat. “My generation of Americans started out pretty well… We did so because prior generations had blessed us with their own grit, their own determination, their own sacrifices, their own commitment to the future.”