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July 14, 2009 - ASCE Letter - opposing long term extensions to SAFETEA-LU

July 14, 2009

The Honorable Barbara Boxer                         The Honorable James Inhofe
Chairman                                                      Ranking Member
Senate Environment and Public Works             Senate Environment and Public Works 
    Committee                                                    Committee
Washington, D.C. 20510                                 Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Boxer:

On behalf of the 146,000 members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) we urge your
strong support of timely enactment of a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill. Accordingly,
we have serious concerns about the proposal from the Obama Administration to delay action on this
critical legislation until March of 2011. 

The nation’s highway and transit network is facing a myriad of challenges. ASCE’s 2009 Report Card for
America’s Infrastructure
graded Roads at a D-, Transit at a D, and Bridges at a C. Additionally, ASCE
estimates that it will require a five year investment of nearly $1.2 trillion to bring just these three
categories up to an acceptable condition.

News from other outlets is just as dire. According to the Texas Transportation Institute’s 2009 Urban
Mobility Report, traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas imposes $87 billion each year in lost
productivity and wasted fuel costs. These challenges will not solve themselves and will only get worse
over the next 18 months.

The transportation investments of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act are delivering an economic
boost to the transportation industry and the entire nation. The recession’s impacts, however, are placing
most states in severe budget challenges and many of these states are cutting back transportation
investment as a result. A multi-year reauthorization bill with robust highway and public
transportation investment, would provide lasting economic benefits and contribute to new job

Given these difficult times and the nation’s overwhelming transportation infrastructure needs, enactment
of a multi-year reauthorization bill is more important now than ever. As such, the ASCE believes action
on this important legislation should not be postponed for 18 months and urges you to support Senator
Voinovich’s alternative or any other effort that would keep Congress focused on a long-term bill.
For more information or questions, please contact Brian Pallasch, Managing Director of Government
Relations and Infrastructure Initiatives in ASCE’s Washington Office at


D. Wayne Klotz, P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE