New York State's Heavy Construction Coalition To Build A National Alliance To Block Proposed Repeal Of Guaranteed Highway Funding

Dec 29, 2010, 16:51 ET from General Contractors Association of New York

NEW YORK, Dec. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A coalition representing New York State's heavy construction industry are announcing efforts to build a national alliance that will seek to block a proposed repeal of guaranteed federal funding that protects and strengthens our nation's highway system. The coalition includes the General Contractors Association (GCA) of New York, the Construction Industry Council, the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) and Associated General Contractors (AGC) of New York State.

Denise Richardson, Managing Director of the GCA stated, "America's highway system has demonstrated mile after mile its ability to create a vibrant, dynamic economy and a stronger, more robust nation. Yet the incoming House Republican majority has unveiled a plan that would repeal guaranteed funding requirements for annual federal highway investment by Washington. It is inconceivable to any taxpayer who has paid for our roads and bridges that the maintenance of these critical arteries would now be left to the political whims of Congress."

Paul Posillico, Chapter Trustee of the AGC of New York said, "This is a highway system that President Dwight Eisenhower had the vision and political will to create, observing later, "More than any single action by the government since the end of the war, this one would change the face of America… Its impact on the American economy — the jobs it would produce in manufacturing and construction, the rural areas it would open up — was beyond calculation."

Marc Herbst, LICA's Executive Director reminded, "If you have any doubts about what would be in store, Congress has failed to pass reauthorization bills for the Federal Aviation Administration for seven years, preferring a series of three months extensions because they can't agree on its funding provisions.

"The role of the highway system cannot be understated. It has revolutionized interstate commerce. It has created trillions of dollars in investment and untold job creation. Destabilizing our highway system by repealing guaranteed funding is akin to playing kick the can with thermonuclear weapons. You can do it but we wouldn't advise it," offered Herbst.

Ross Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, stated, "Infrastructure has come under attack, to be used a political weapon in a profoundly flawed ideological agenda. This proposed rules change on Capitol Hill is the latest assault on our roads and bridges and it has to stop."

Richardson concluded, "This is not a New York problem. This isn't a northeast problem. This is a national problem with a serious funding threat to a strategic asset that stitches the country's economy together. If we allow dedicated funding to be a political football we will look back on the Recession of 2010 as the good old days. We are moving to create a national industry response to a peril that few yet appreciate but certainly will in the weeks and months to come."

Among those the coalition will seek to ally with include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Trucking Association and the Laborers International Union.

SOURCE General Contractors Association of New York