By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Transportation design and construction industry leaders and their employees must make their voices heard in Washington, D.C., over the next few months, or the “gleaming” roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure promised by President Donald Trump might never materialize.

“What we have so far are rhetorical flourishes,” ARTBA President Pete Ruane said during a March 8 presentation on the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 show floor in Las Vegas. “You need to keep the pressure on to be sure it happens. To assume this is just going to happen overnight is a big, big mistake.”

He encouraged show attendees and those watching his remarks via webcast to attend the May 16-18 ARTBA Federal Issues Program/Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-in in Washington. He also urged his listeners to visit ARTBA’s online advocacy platforms, such as the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center, and CASE Construction’s Dire States website.

Ruane warned the “once in a generation” opportunity created by Trump’s call for $1 trillion in infrastructure investment will be at risk if Congress and the president can’t make a deal this year.

ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, who joined Ruane at the CONEXPO event, said state and local governments are doing a good job of stepping up to increase transportation investment. But the market will not realize significant growth until Washington lawmakers agree on a sustainable fix to the Highway Trust Fund revenue gap.