Today, Greater Louisville Inc. joined more than 250 local, regional and state chambers of commerce urging Congress to resolve the impending insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund, and to pass a long term federal transportation authorization bill.
Chambers of Commerce know infrastructure investment is an important economic issue. Without a sustainable source of funding, the federal Highway Trust Fund will be in a deep deficit that will require major cuts, or potential halts, in highway and transit projects which would jeopardize much needed economic and job growth in our cities and regions.
In the Greater Louisville region, we know the impact of strong infrastructure. After decades in the making, the Ohio River Bridges project now promises untold new jobs and billions of dollars in new investment in our community. As a logistics hub, a comprehensive and well-maintained highway system is critical to our future competitiveness. As a river city, the maintenance of our waterways, locks, and dams is necessary to our future as a center for commerce.
Below, please find the full text of the letter that GLI and the other chambers from across the nation have come together to pen to Congress:
March 3, 2015
Dear Members of Congress:
Transportation infrastructure investments in our cities and towns are key to America’s long-term economic competitiveness. That’s why leaders of local and regional chambers of commerce and economic development organizations from across the country urge you to resolve the impending insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund and pass a long term federal transportation authorization bill this year that restores confidence and stability for investments within our regions.
Without a sustainable source of funding, the Trust Fund will be in a deep deficit that will require major cuts in federal highway and transit funding or a potential halt of the entire federal transportation program, which would jeopardize much needed economic and job growth in our cities and regions. Indeed, many states have already halted certain projects in anticipation of such cuts. We need your support to ensure the viability of this critical component of the nation’s economy, including its ability to accelerate job growth.
With the expiration of MAP-21 looming at the end of May, we also urge you to include in a long-term authorization bill the following provisions and programs that we believe our regions need to stay competitive in a 21st century global marketplace:
- Ensure that federal funding is flexible and supports all modes of surface transportation.
- Expand the existing TIFIA loan program and include the proposed America Fast Forward bond program that would create a new class of federal tax credit bonds to help local and state governments construct transportation infrastructure at a significantly lower cost.
- Empower local communities and metropolitan regions with more authority over both federal funding and decision-making. Innovation is happening at the local level and yet our local decision makers don’t have enough of the tools, and control less than 10 percent of the funding, which limit the ability to advance key projects that can grow the economies in communities big and small.
- Support a comprehensive and strategic approach to move freight by providing a strong emphasis on intermodal solutions that target the very worst bottlenecks to create more reliable and efficiently interconnected highway, rail, port and airport networks.
As members of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, we represent businesses of all sizes that form the backbone of the nation’s economy. Our business members know a reliable and resilient transportation network is vital to construction employment, getting other workers to their jobs, ensuring efficient and cost-effective freight delivery, and providing residents with an outstanding quality of life, which is critical to attracting a talented workforce.
Thank you for your leadership on this important issue.
To view this letter online, please visit: http://www.acce.org/communications/chambers-for-u.s.-infrastructure-investment/