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December 17, 2010 - ASCE Letter - Extension of SAFETEA-LU thru September 30, 2011

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December 17, 2010

The Honorable Harry Reid                         The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader, U.S. Senate                    Minority Leader, U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20515                           Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                     The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives    Speaker-Elect, U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510                           Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, and Speaker-Elect Boehner:

The American Society of Civil Engineers strongly supports an extension of federal highway and transit programs through the end of fiscal year 2011. The failure to pass a new multi-year surface transportation authorization in the 111th Congress has made it necessary for Congress to pass another extension in order to keep the program running and avoid jeopardizing the continuity of highway and transit programs.

The nation’s highway and transit network is facing an ever growing amount 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 $1.2 trillion to bring just these three transportation categories up to an acceptable condition.

Transportation investments have historically proven themselves an effective tool in keeping Americans employed while building the state of the art infrastructure that this nation was once famous for. Therefore, while the nation awaits new legislation Congress must extend funding for surface transportation through the end of fiscal year 2011.

While continuing a series of extensions does not provide a long term solution to unemployment and the infrastructure crisis, it does provide job opportunities while the sector awaits another much needed long-term surface transportation bill. The proposed extension through the end of fiscal year 2011 would maintain continuity in the federal highway and public transportation programs while a transformative multi-year bill is finalized. We strongly urge you to support legislation that contains an extension of surface transportation program through September 30, 2011.

Thank you for your consideration of these views.

Sincerely,

Brian Pallasch, Managing Director of Government Relations and Infrastructure Initiatives

Cc: Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Thad Cochran, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator James Inhofe, Representative David Obey, Representative Jerry Lewis, Representative James Oberstar, Representative John Mica