AAPA Pleased That Highway Trust Fund Crisis Averted
Ports association emphasizes need for freight focus in long-term reauthorization bill
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and its member U.S. ports today are grateful for the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act (H.R. 5021) and urges President Obama to quickly sign the bill, which provides additional funding to supplement Highway Trust Fund revenues through May 2015.
With a short-term “patch” now approved, the ports association encourages lawmakers and the Administration to quickly refocus efforts on a long-term bill that includes sustainable funding for freight transportation projects.
“Passage of H.R. 5021 ensures that our nation will avert an immediate crisis and keeps funding flowing to surface transportation projects throughout the country until a longer term fix is developed.
“AAPA applauds both the House and Senate for having agreed on legislation to ensure continued spending from the Highway Trust Fund. We’re hopeful that Congress and the Administration will wisely use this extra time to agree on a multi-year transportation reauthorization bill that keeps our economy moving and includes dedicated funding for freight transportation projects.
“To accommodate what the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs predicted last year will be more than 400 million people living in the U.S. by 2050, and what the American Trucking Associations last week predicted will be a 23.5 percent increase in U.S. cargo volumes by 2025, there must be adequate, safe, and congestion-free access to our ports from both the land- and water-side. This can only be accomplished with a long-term surface transportation bill that provides dedicated funding for cargo-related transportation project investments.
“AAPA also strongly encourages individual states to incorporate port-related surface transportation needs into state transportation plans and funding decisions.
“Identification of, and funding for, critical freight infrastructure is vital to America’s international competitiveness and sustainable job growth. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration on a long-term highway bill that includes robust provisions for freight, including ‘first and last mile’ projects, gateways and corridors that connect with ports.”