By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

ARTBA Chairman Bob Alger reminded association members that finding a permanent revenue solution for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) remains one of the association’s most pressing priorities in the coming year.

Two others are an infrastructure investment package that includes a major transportation component, and laying the groundwork for the next surface transportation bill to replace the FAST Act, which expires in 2020.

“The FAST Act is just a Band Aid, but the Band Aid is going to get ripped off sooner than most people realize,” Alger said in Oct. 24 comments opening ARTBA’s Northeastern Regional meeting in Washington, D.C. The Southern, Central and Western regional meetings will take place through mid-November.

Alger, president and CEO of The Lane Construction Corporation, emphasized the importance of federal funding for transportation infrastructure, noting that it provides an average 51 percent of all annual state DOT capital outlays for highway and bridge projects.

“President Trump is not backing down on infrastructure and we are here to make sure of that,” Alger said. He encouraged ARTBA members to talk with their congressional representatives about the need for infrastructure investment in their communities and a permanent HTF fix.

In his remarks, Alger also noted ARTBA’s commitment to promoting safety. He cited this week’s announcement that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has agreed to support 500 of its employees to sit for the ARTBA Foundation’s Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™ (SCTPP) exam.  He said this development could motivate even more public agency and private sector transportation professionals to become safety certified to help prevent work zone injuries and deaths.